Keith Curle returns to Sixfields for the first time since he was relieved of his duties in January and will be hoping to get one over on his old club.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Bradford City may not have been pretty but it will have pleased Jon Brady and the Cobblers faithful. The performance was much better than those against Cambridge and Bristol Rovers the previous week. The return to the side of Jack Sowerby and Aaron McGowan was a real positive and both looked back to their best at Valley Parade.
The one worry will be that another individual mistake cost the team a potential win. After John Guthrie’s short back pass was latched onto against Bristol Rovers, it was Fraser Horsfall’s turn to trip over his own feet and gift Charles Vernon an equaliser. Considering how strong we were defensively up until a few games ago, the individual errors are concerning but confidence will play a major part in getting it back on track and Oldham may be just the type of side we need to face right now.
Oldham have really struggled both on and off the pitch in the last couple of years. Latics fans have had a rough time of it of late and it seems like their woes may last a good while longer yet. The Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation moved to ‘Phase Three’ and are working towards facilitating the departure of club owner, Abdallah Lemsagam.
It’s a very complex situation but if there is one manager who can put off the pitch issues to one side, it’s Keith Curle.
We all know what to expect from Curle’s Oldham. 3-5-2 and direct football up to a target man. It may not be pretty and boy do we know it, but at this level, with the right players, it does get results.
Whatever your opinion of Curle and his tactics, it will be nice to see him again and give him a warm reception to say thanks for the Wembley performance if nothing else. Also returning is former double Cobblers promotion winner, Nicky Adams.
Last time out
While the Cobblers were lucky to escape from Bradford with a 1-1 draw and all their limbs in tact on Saturday, Oldham notched up their first win in 7, twice coming from behind to beat Port Vale 3-2 at Boundary Park.
One to watch
Dylan Bahamboula has scored 3 times from midfield this season and is the only real bums off seats player in Keith Curle’s squad. At times this season, Bahamboula has also been asked to play as a striker so don’t be surprised to see him partnering David Keillor-Dunn, another midfielder, up front.
Jon Brady is keeping his cards close to his chest with regards to the availability of Kion Etete and Liam Roberts after they both received heavy knocks last time out at Bradford. One piece of good news is Aaron McGowan seems to be over his injury and has told the Cobblers fans “there’s no need to worry about me“.
Jamie Hopcutt, Sam Hart and Ouss Cisse are definitely available for the Latics after they returned from injury in Saturday’s win over Port Vale. Former Cobblers favourite, Nicky Adams is also fit and available to returns to his previous club.
Goals from Matty Warburton and Andy Williams put the Cobblers 2-0 up before Scott Wilson and a last minute Jonny Smith cross cum shot earned the Latics a draw. It wasn’t the first time that the Cobblers had thrown away a 2 goal lead that season.
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Brett Huxtable takes charge of this game. Or maybe it will be Fourth Official Daniel Middleton. The last time Huxtable made an appearance at Sixfields, he took advice from the touchline to disallow a perfectly legitimate Danny Rose goal in the first half of the 1-1 draw with Swindon back in September. Huxtable will be assisted by Mark Jones and Conor Farrell.
Charles: Cobblers 2-0 Oldham
Danny: Cobblers 1-0 Oldham
Neil: Cobblers 9-9 Oldham
Jefe: Cobblers 2-1 Oldham