CURLE HAS VIRTUALLY FULL SQUAD
Curle's luxury for Latics clash
STAGS boss Keith Curle has the rare luxury of a virtually full squad to choose from when promotion hopefuls Oldham Athletic defend their sparkling unbeaten away record at Field Mill on Saturday (3pm).
Only Colin Larkin is short on fitness right now and Curle said: "This is the first time the treatment room has been empty since I came here and we have no suspensions either which is a beautiful situation to be in.
"Now I must make sure I pick the right team. Barring mishaps between now and the game I know the side I want to play.
"It will be what I feel is my strongest team. With all due respect to Oldham, I am not tailoring a side just to play them.
"I feel this is a winnable game. People go on about their unbeaten record and how many years it is since we last beat them.
"But people said it was eight years since we'd beaten Chesterfield and 40 years since we had beaten Notts County and those records went. It makes me sound like Roy Castle!"
Stags are hoping for a big crowd as they enter a crucial eight day period of two home games in four days and a six-pointer with relegation rivals Cheltenham.
Curle added: "Everyone who went to QPR will have enjoyed the game and at the end of the day that's what we are here for - to entertain the crown and show effort, ability and commitment to this football club."
Curle is hoping to get Adam Eaton's full time deal settled as son as possible.
A fee has been agreed with Preston and it is now a case of the player and his agent agreeing terms with Curle.
"There are still a few finer points being ironed out but we are going in the right direction," said Curle. "Everything needs to be right for the player and the football club as well.
"There are talk of other clubs being interested in him but I am not surprised as he has done a solid job for us.
"At the end of the day, though, I know he wants to come here. And, if he decided the deal was not right for him then we do know other full backs. But we would rather have Adam."
Latics pair face uphill struggle
by TONY BUGBY, http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk
DARREN Sheridan and Matty Appleby are losing their battles against injury as Athletic prepare for Saturday's match at Mansfield Town.
The loss of Sheridan and Appleby would further deplete a midfield which is without Danny Boshell and Josh Low long term and could also be without John Eyre at Field Mill.
It is sadly an all-too-familiar story for manager Iain Dowie, who has been confronted with terrible injury troubles throughout the campaign, allied to a spate of suspensions.
“These things are all part and parcel of football and you have to get on with it and not feel sorry for yourself,” explained Dowie.
The Athletic manager said that injuries, suspensions and the club's well-documented financial troubles have made his first campaign a real challenge.
Sheridan damaged his shoulder in the opening minutes of the win at Stockport a week last Saturday.
The initial diagnosis was that the torn muscle would keep Sheridan out for four matches, though Athletic hoped he might be ready to return on Saturday.
Appleby suffered a recurrence of the thigh problem which has plagued his season in last Saturday's home draw against Notts County.
Eyre has been struggling with ankle and thigh injuries and he, too, was an absentee last weekend.
But there is ray of sunshine on the injury front with Low and Clyde Wijnhard progressing well.
Low, out since November with a hamstring problem, has begun running and Dowie doesn't think it should be too long before he is back.
And Wijnhard, who has had a serious knee injury, is back in training, with Athletic anxiously monitoring his progress to ensure there is no reaction.
Having Low and Wijnhard, two dangerous attacking players, back would be a big lift for the promotion run-in.
Latest | February 2003