Johnson learning on the job as Oldham sink
OLDHAM ............1 CARLISLE ..........2
OLDHAM boss Lee Johnson slammed his players’ first-half performance after the relegation battlers fell to defeat against Carlisle.
Liam Noble and Jordan Mustoe ensured the Cumbrians bagged three points, despite Jose Baxter’s second-half penalty.
Johnson admitted he now understands the reason for the Latics’ lowly league position after experiencing his first managerial defeat, but called on his squad to show their mettle in their remaining fixtures.
“It was very poor from us in the first-half. In the second-half, the lads did give it a go to be fair,” said the 31-year-old.
“We could have possibly come out with a draw. That is not the required standard and it is not acceptable that first-half display.
“I hope it is hurting them as much as it is hurting me. Overall, it showed me why we are where we are in the league.
“It is important to see that so we can move forward. I hope they can use that first-half display as power in the next game.
“When it does hurt, sometimes you can use that to give you added energy.
“It is like we need a punch on the nose to get going.We have to retaliate first and make sure we are on the front foot.
“But this is football and this is life – sometimes you get knocks.”
Carlisle broke the deadlock through Noble’s drilled strike, before Mustoe lofted the ball over Dean Bouzanis to make it 2-0 after 33 minutes.
Oldham netted with Baxter converting from the penalty spot for his 15th goal in all competitions this season.
The Latics continued their onslaught with Matt Smith coming on to add some aerial menace, but Carlisle survived the flurry of attacks and manager Greg Abbott admitted he was relieved to hear the full time whistle.
“I had 49 minutes of anxious moments, because it was like the Alamo with big Smith coming on and the rest of it,” he said.
“You are never safe until you are mathematically safe so it’s certainly a big win.
“I didn’t think we would ever properly get dragged in, but the longer the games go and the longer you go without the points it sometimes happens.
“Fair play to Lee Johnson – a 31year-old to be able to withstand the pressure of making some results in the next few games. You’re talking about how tough the job is and he will find out the hard way, but I do wish him well.
“I have never seen that in Jordan [Mustoe], but it was a Premier League finish. “He gave away the penalty, so I’ll praise him with one hand and take it away with the other.”
ON THE RUN: Walsall’s Adam Chambers jostles with Chris Porter