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Latics suffer first defeat of 2018
Tuesday 2nd January 2018 @ 12:25 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Oldham Athletic have suffered a poor run of results during the festive period.

Richie Wellens’ side returned from Plymouth Argyle empty handed following a 4-1 defeat on December 23, before suffering a second loss on Boxing Day in a 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood Town.

Latics managed to arrest the decline after taking a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers last weekend, although they were made to suffer defeat on New Years Day after falling to a 1-0 loss at title-chasing Shrewsbury Town.

Shaun Whalley’s effort on 16 minutes was enough to give the Shrews all three points at the New Meadow.

Following the loss, Wellens expressed his disappointment at the manner in which his side performed during the first half. Speaking to IFollow Latics, he said: “I think in the first half we looked like two very average teams. The conditions weren’t great.

“Cameron Dummigan tries a back heel eight yards from the byline which is just ridiculous and then the goalkeeper should do better, so then we’re 1-0 down in the game which has nothing in it.

“In the second half we were on top, we know there was wind, we know the pitch was bobbly, we played to the conditions a little bit more and put pressure on and we should have got something out of the game.

“They are the fittest team in the league by a mile and I thought our energy in the last 25 minutes was really good as we were pushing for an equaliser and there was only one team that looked like scoring.

“When we went two upfront I thought that was a positive, I wanted to start two upfront but Aaron Amadi-Holloway wasn’t fit enough, he came in yesterday and couldn’t walk so he’s done well to get half an hour.

“That’s a frustration, I want to play two upfront but I’ve only got two fit strikers and one has only got half an hour in him.

“Our delivery into the box wasn’t great at times, I can’t wait to get Patrick McEleney on the pitch because he’s a clever player, he’s got two good feet and he’s the type of player that I want to represent me when he goes on the football pitch.”

McEleney, a forward, has joined the club from League of Ireland runners-up Dundalk on a two-and-a-half year deal.

The 25-year-old started his career with Sunderland but returned to Ireland to play for Derry City in 2010.

Having made 175 appearances and scored 26 goals over a five-year period, McEleney joined Dundalk ahead of the 2016 season and helped them win the League of Ireland, which subsequently secured their place in the UEFA Champions League qualification stage.

Of the signing, Wellens said: “He’s two footed, he can go either way and he can dribble past players and I think we’ve lacked a bit of that.

“We’ve got really good footballers who get in pockets of space and Patrick will give us a different dimension.

“He can go past players, he can score goals and he’s got good delivery as well.

“He’s a player that I’m looking forward to working with and he’s the type of character you want in the building.”

McEleney could make his first appearance for Oldham in Saturday’s clash at Charlton Athletic.

Karl Robinson’s outfit are currently ninth in the table and four points outside the playoff zone.

The Addicks’ winless streak in League One extended to eight matches following a 2-1 home defeat to Gillingham on New Years Day.

When the two sides met at the start of September, Charlton ran out 4-3 winners at Boundary Park.