The Next Month Will Determine Playoffs or Bust For Oldham – Agreed?
A season can hinge on the results of a handful of games and it appears that Oldham are approaching a period of fixtures which will shape whether they finish in the playoffs or in mid-table mediocrity in League Two.
Stability is always a key ingredient in the smooth running of a club, which is something that should have been explained to those currently in charge at Boundary Park. So far this season we have had rumours of unpaid players and the threat of a strike, the sacking of yet another manager and poor results against teams that we really should be getting the better of. Add to that the current circus about who is going to be the next manager, and stability is not the first word you would use in describing Oldham Athletic FC.
Of course, there is the little matter of a possible appearance in the 5th round of the FA Cup to consider. Cash strapped Athletic would love to enjoy the same sort of payout that Lincoln City received from the 16/17 season, which no doubt has helped them build the side currently heading League Two.
For Oldham however, whatever happens against Doncaster this weekend needs to be quickly forgotten in order to address the next few fixtures in League Two. Of the teams we face in the next five games, only Bury can boast to be enjoying significantly better form than us (over the last 4 games) and if ever there was a good time to face MK Dons, it is at present given that they are experiencing a ‘blip’ that has seen them drop to 5th place.
We are currently 7 points adrift of 7th place with a game in hand and it would take a collective loss of form of those above us to sneak us into the playoff positions, especially if we are to continue to drop points against the likes of Macclesfield. A run of two or three wins will solve that, and the immediate solution for owner Abdallah Lemsagam is to decide who he wants to steer the ship. Uncertainty is no good for the fans and players alike and it is of no use whatsoever to current caretaker manager Peter Wild, who probably doesn’t know on a day to day basis what his role might be when he walks into work each morning.
I cannot believe that the players might have abandoned the idea of reaching the playoffs, there is still too much to play for. The fans, on the other hand, don’t see a great deal of determination displayed on a regular enough basis. Despite that, they still turn out in huge numbers to follow the club around the country and will be 100% behind the side if they show a willingness to get us into the playoffs.