Category Archives: league 2

Wild Should Be Looking to Strengthen in These Two Key Areas After Oldham’s Chaotic Season

If Peter Wild is given the Oldham managers job at the end of the season, and if he wants it of course, he will no doubt be looking to improve the current squad by getting rid of some of the players who haven’t figured this season and strengthening certain areas where we are in need.

Some would argue that there isn’t a great deal wrong with the squad, it is the person in charge of the club who needs attention but like it or not, Latics will once again be starting a season in the bottom tier and several of the players who have served us well this season are not going to be around.

Top of the shopping list has to be a ‘keeper who is as good as or better than Daniel Iverson. That is going to be no mean feat, given that Daniel has had a terrific season and looked at one stage to be challenging for the record of most clean sheets in a season. Getting a ‘keeper in on loan from a club in a higher division seems to be the most likely option but to do that may mean waiting until the 2019/20 season is almost upon us given that club managers leave it late to decide which is their best team.

The other key area is in attack mainly because of the loss of Callum Lang who returns to Wigan at the end of the season. It could be that Wigan, currently courting with relegation from the Championship might see Lang as a player who could do a decent job in League One should they go down. Whatever happens, Lang deserves to play at a higher level and like Iverson, will not be persuaded to sign for Latics given the perilous state of Oldham’s finances.

Once again, Wild may have to look for a season long loan signing or two as I cannot really believe that Chris O’Grady will still be with the club. Finding attacking players who can weigh in with 20+ goals a season has to be the most difficult of tasks but it will have to be addressed if Latics hold any hopes of getting out of League Two.

There are some who would welcome a period of stability after what has been a crazy season and I’m sure Peter Wild would agree with that.

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Bury Must Find a Way to Get Past This in-Form Newport Team

After a spirited second half performance over Colchester last Saturday bringing home a much-needed three points for Ryan Lowe’s side, Bury will need something similar on Good Friday against Newport.

Dom Telford helped resurrect the Shakers promotion hopes, but it will all be for nothing if they suffer a Good Friday defeat in Wales.

Having only lost three times at home in the league this season, whilst reaching the FA Cup fifth round in the process, there has been plenty of positives for Michael Flynn and co, particularly over the past five weeks.

Unbeaten for over a month, spanning five league games, this could be a so-called banana skin for Bury as they hunt down promotion.

The good thing for the Shakers is that they lead the race for the teams looking to steal promotion. The bad news is they can barely afford to lose even one match. From second to fifth- the table looks like this.

Bury 74,

Mansfield 73,

MK Dons 72,

Tranmere 71.

Bury’s last away game is at Tranmere too.

Last Saturday’s win was just what the club needed, following on from the financial drama which still hangs over the club. Ryan Lowe got his players to stand together in a huddle at full time whilst regularly clapped the fans for their support as they sung,’Oh Ryan Lowe’ throughout the game.

However, he, his players and staff are still to be paid as this is written, how long the peace and harmony can be kept up is anyone’s guess. The club will return to court on May 15th with a hefty 200K debt hanging over them. A ‘Just giving page’ has been set up on Twitter to get the staff paid.

Again the hope for all Bury fans is the players can pull thought this fiasco. Lowe has already said that the players will play onto the end of the season without pay if worst comes to worse.

Fans will hope Steve Dale can sought out these ongoing issues, for the fans part, a modest 3,900 crowd last weekend may not have been the dream number they may have wanted either.

That said for the team to throw away promotion would be a great disappointment, although Newport will do their worst. The Exiles return to form sees them only five points off the playoffs and are one of only three top half teams to have not lost any of their past five games.

For Bury however, the race for promotion goes on, with or without pay. How long the players stay unboard with the chairman however remains to be seen.

Wild Could Start These Two Squad Players Against Cheltenham

After last Saturday’s draw against Swindon, coach Peter Wild was quick to acknowledge the impact that his three substitutions had on the game. With the 11 on the pitch being unable to change the pace of the game, the introduction of Baxter, Sylla and Afolayan had the desired effect and Latics salvaged a point after going behind in the second half.

For Wild, fielding the same side which had won three in a row was an obvious decision. Even the return of Jose Baxter after suspension didn’t encourage him to change the winning line up. However, with two Easter games within three days approaching, it may well be advisable for Wild to introduce both Sylla and Afolayan into the starting line up.

Oladapo Afolayan

The 21 year old centre forward on loan from West Ham should be relishing life at League Two level but he has had limited opportunities to show what he is capable of. With only 140 minutes of action in four games he has perhaps not been used to his full advantage.

Playing alongside top scorer Callum Lang instead of veteran Chris O’Grady might well be a tactic that will work against 16th place Cheltenham who have an excellent record in their last 8 home games.

Mohamad Sylla

Sylla has also had few opportunities with only four starts but he had an immediate effect on the pitch against Swindon. A strong, direct player he could possibly edge out Maouche who hasn’t been performing as well as he is able. The Latics midfield seems to have been made up of several French players this season with varying degrees of success but with the slim possibility that we might make the playoffs still possible, Wild will not get away with fielding the same players for every game despite our four match unbeaten run.

Realistically, we only need to lose one of our remaining five games to ensure that we can’t reach the top five and fielding squad players might appear to be risky, but given the few opportunities to show their worth, Sylla and Afolayan might well look upon their inclusion to show how much they have to offer.

Bury Stave Off Administration for Now, Curzon Ashton Boss Mark Bradshaw Talks Cup Chances, Rochdale Making Improvements

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson of the Football Manc Cave for this week’s podcast.

Bury have struggled off the pitch in recent weeks as financial worries surround the club – is there a light at the end of the tunnel at Gigg Lane?

Curzon Ashton manager Mark Bradshaw chats to us as the Nash chase Manchester Premier Cup success for the first time since 1990.

We reflect on Salford’s promotion ambitions and Rochdale’s chances of safety in League One.

Subscribe to the podcast now and never miss a show.

Acast – https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-burystaveoffadministrationfornowcurzonashtongaffermarkbradshawtalkscupchances-rochdalemakingimprovements

Itunes – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/manchester-football-social-efl-below-show-bury-stave/id1449475076?i=1000434701033

Let’s pack out Gigg Lane in a must win game for Bury against Colchester

Having managed to avoid administration or liquidation in Court on Wednesday, Bury can finally focus on what goes on between the white lines, rather than what happens in the boardroom.

For now anyway, the winding up petition has been adjourned until the 15th May when the club are back in court. This will allow time for the players, coaching staff and fans to concentrate solely on promotion back to League One.

Before moving onto the financial trauma at Gigg Lane, Ryan Lowe and his players will need three points to get their promotion push back on track. Following on from a hat trick of defeats against Swindon, Cambridge and Carlisle, Saturday’s game against Colchester could prove to be the catalyst for a new charge at the top three.

Sitting only one point off Mansfield and MK Dons in second and third place, hope is not all lost for Bury in the promotion race but to lose again against John McGreal’s side could prove just too costly.

No Bury fan wants to see their side fall further behind in the promotion race, nor see the club go bust, meaning support this weekend is bigger than ever. With the announcement the club need to pay back just over £277,000 of unpaid tax to the HMRC by the end of the season, gate numbers will be pivotal in order to keep the club afloat.

With only three home games left before the end go the season, The Shakers don’t exactly have time on their side in order to claw back the debt they owe through match day revenue anyway.

Saturday’s game will see long serving home fans ditch their season tickets and pay the normal ticketing price, one only a ground hopper would pay if ever they attended this League Two fixture.

Incomings at Bury are more important than ever, so too is limiting the outgoings the club has in order to avoid liquidation.

In his latest club statement, Chairman Steve Dale stated that the running of the club will need significant reform if they are to survive in the long term.

‘There will need to be major changes in the Club to sustain its existence, it can no longer act like a premiership club as the previous owners aspired to and it needs to be cutting its cloth accordingly to guarantee its future as this is paramount to Fans and Community, some actions needed will be bitter pills to take and some people will disagree but our course of action is impartial I’m here to save a Club not pander to certain individuals, the Club comes first.

‘There are many issues within the Club that need addressing, take it from me what you see is not what you get, it serves certain people who do not have the interest of the club to heart only their own personal agenda but spin clouds this, time will show who these people are’.

BuryFlyer

If Oldham Have Faint Hopes Of Reaching the Play-Offs then They Have to Brush Aside Swindon

There are lots of computations in the top third of League Two and rather than relying on some complicated algorithm, coach Peter Wild will be approaching each of the remaining six games with the calm and assured manner which he has come to be associated with.

He has wisely asked for calm heads among players, staff and fans as Latics approach the game against Swindon looking for their fourth win in a row. It is obvious that the team need to get a win against the Wiltshire club who are currently one place and two points above them in the table.

Earlier in the season, the teams managed a goalless draw which would normally be seen as a decent result for the visitors but neither team will be content to repeat it, especially as it might mean that other clubs can move above them. Now is not the time for half measures however, and only points in the bag will do.

Swindon will be as fully aware of this as Athletic and with one less game to play, their plight can be seen to be more urgent.

The game has been made more interesting by the return of ex-Oldham boss Richie Wellens, who described his exit from Boundary Park to the local newspaper as due to the poor playing surface forcing a change in his preferred playing style. As far as Latics fans were aware, he was sacked for being responsible for us dropping into the league’s basement for the first time in 50 years! Still, who can hold their hands up and say they have never been economical with the truth on their CV!

Both clubs are pretty evenly matched in recent form but, that shouldn’t worry Latics who threw the formbook out of the window when they beat Tranmere two games ago.

If Callum Lang can keep up his goalscoring antics backed up by a strong midfield, determined defence and safe hands in goal then there is no reason why Athletic can’t go into the Easter fixtures in a strong position.

The Boundary Park pitch might not presently be as lush as it should be, therefore at least Richie Wellens will have a ready made excuse if his team leave empty handed.

5 points off PlayOffs, 3 Unbeaten, 1 Game in-Hand, Wild’s Got Things Going Right For Oldham

While most of the country were glued to their TV’s watching the Champions League quarter finals unfold, fans of any of the clubs in the top third of the League Two table will have had their eyes on the two fixtures being played at a much less lofty position.

Bottom placed Macclesfield were engaged in a fight for survival against seventh placed Exeter and, Swindon and Newport were hoping to take advantage of their game in hand to edge them nearer to the play off places.

Latics fans would have been hoping for a draw between Swindon and Newport and an unlikely but not impossible win for Macclesfield. Their wishes came true as a certain Harry Smith scored two vital goals for Macclesfield, which lifts them out of the relegation places and the other teams played out a goalless draw.

The results could not have been better for Latics, Carlisle, Colchester and Stevenage who are all capable of reaching seventh place. The one difference however, is that Latics have a game in hand and could tip Exeter out of the last promotion place if they keep up their current winning form and beat Exeter on the 27th April.

Of course to do this, Latics need to win four or five league games on the trot, something they haven’t managed to do for the best part of 14 years therefore, it might well be made easier if the teams around them continue to drop points.

In the games leading up to Easter, many of the teams surrounding Latics face some tough fixtures and given that injuries, suspensions and fatigue all play a part in late season ambitions, there is still a great chance that Latics could, incredibly as it seems, be in contention for a top seven finish.

Already, our remaining away games that would have been largely ignored at Cheltenham, Exeter and Newport are being targeted by Latics impressive travelling army. It seems incredible that Oldham’s season has been given almost a second chance and if they can overcome Swindon this weekend to make it four wins in a row it will certainly appear that with Peter Wild back in charge things are starting to go right again.

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