Lat­ics vic­tory is num­ber one pri­or­ity for Maam­ria

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT -

OLD­HAM head coach Dino Maam­ria ad­mits to­day’s fix­ture against Ley­ton Ori­ent at Bound­ary Park is a ‘huge game’ for his side.

Lat­ics re­turn to league ac­tion af­ter last week­end’s nar­row 1-0 de­feat by Bur­ton Al­bion in the sec­ond round of the FA Cup.

And fol­low­ing their exit from the com­pe­ti­tion, at­ten­tion turns back to League Two, where Old­ham sit five points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone hav­ing lost just once in their last five league games.

“We were all gut­ted af­ter Satur­day’s game. We ob­vi­ously wanted to try and get as far as pos­si­ble in the FA Cup but in the sec­ond half against Bur­ton, we pro­duced our best half of the sea­son in terms of stats,” said Maam­ria. “The fo­cus this week has been re­ally to dust our­selves down and get back to the league be­cause the league is the most im­por­tant thing af­ter all.

“De­spite the rise in form and the points we’re pick­ing up we’re still in a po­si­tion we don’t want to be in.”

To­day’s op­po­nents sit just one place above the Lat­ics in 18th – with­out a win since Oc­to­ber 19 – and with a trip to league lead­ers Swin­don next week­end, Maam­ria was quick to stress the im­por­tance of pick­ing up three points against the Os.

He said: “The Ori­ent game is a huge game for us. They’ve got their prob­lems and we’re coming through the other side of our prob­lems, so my fo­cus has been to make sure we’re ready to get three points on Satur­day.

“I’ve just told the play­ers we can’t af­ford to be less than 90 per cent of our own per­for­mance level to get points in this league so we have to be at it.”

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