The Latics beat Stuart McCall’s side three times in the first half of the season, in the Football League Trophy, FA Cup and the League Two defeat which hammered the final nail in the coffin of his third spell as manager.
That was December 12, and just 98 days later, the Latics will face a very different club. Then, McCall was fighting a relegation battle but now, even after experiencing consecutive defeats for the first time, joint managers Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars will take charge of the favourites – for all that counts for in League Two.
Ask Sellars how things have changed since the Boundary Park defeat, and he says: “The options is one thing, the signings we’ve brought in. We had a positive January where we got players we felt could improve the team and develop.
“The characters are crucial. We always speak about them and who they are, the people who will roll their sleeves up and be accountable and we feel we’ve got that. I can’t really comment on before because I wasn’t involved, it was just watching the first team from afar, but we’ve looked to take on people with good personalities who will work every single day to get better.
“We’ve got a good environment and when people come in they have to fit in. We’ve got some really good characters who can teach them and say, ‘This is how we do things here.’
“The players who have come in have been terrific and the leaders who were already here are setting the standards. We want everybody to lead, making sure the standards are really high and the culture’s as good as it can be.”
Last six games: Bradford City LLDWWW; Oldham Athletic DLDDLW; Referee: A Haines (Tyne and Wear); Last time: Bradford City 1 Oldham Athletic 2, November 28, 2020, FA Cup.
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