Doncaster Rovers: The lowdown on Saturday's hosts Oldham Athletic

Whenever Richie Wellens comes up against Doncaster Rovers it is always going to draw interest.

Friday, 27th April 2018, 6:50 pm
Updated Friday, 27th April 2018, 6:51 pm
Richie Wellens
Richie Wellens

And on this occasion, even more so.

Wellens goes head-to-head with Doncaster with an Oldham Athletic side with which he is close to completing a great escape.

But Oldham are far from safe just yet and are desperate for a win as they welcome Rovers this weekend.

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We spoke to Sheldan Keay of the Manchester Evening News to get the lowdown on the Latics.

Q: What has been made of the job Richie Wellens has done so far at Oldham?

SK: There was a lot of optimism from the fans when Wellens got the job.

Latics were bottom of the table and looked in huge trouble before he arrived, but suddenly under Wellens they were playing a very attractive style of football and shot up the division.

Things have been tougher in recent months, with the team still heavily involved in the relegation battle, but if they are able to avoid the drop and give Wellens the summer to bring in his own players, then next year could be a positive campaign.

Q: How are confidence levels that they can avoid the drop?

SK: One plus for Oldham is that they haven’t been losing their recent games. They’ve had a lot of draws lately, and while they do need wins to move further clear of the drop zone, the team are proving difficult to beat.

When playing at their best, Oldham have shown that they can compete with some of the better teams in the division, so if they can produce that form in the final week of the season then they should have enough about them to stay up.

Q: What style of play and system does Wellens favour?

SK: Throughout the season Wellens has been keen to get the ball down and pass it around, but he’s admitted recently that the performances don’t matter and if they have to win ugly to get the three points, he’ll take it.

They can either play a 4-4-2 formation with Eoin Doyle and Craig Davies up top, or a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Ousmane Fane and Dan Gardner serving as holding midfielders, and the likes of Duckens Nazon or Tope Obadeyi in wide roles, with Doyle up top on his own.

Q: Who are the danger men?

SK: On-loan striker Eoin Doyle has been Oldham’s leader scoring this season despite missing a large amount of games due to an illness he suffered back in December, so you can never count him out from finding the net.

Duckens Nazon has also been lively since joining on loan from Wolves in January, and he’s high on confidence at the moment after two goals at AFC Wimbledon last Saturday.

Q: Match prediction?

SK: Latics are desperate for the victory, whereas Doncaster haven’t really got anything left to play for this season, so you’d have to think that Oldham will be a lot more pumped up for the game.

It’s a must-win game for Oldham.

I’m expecting them to put in a hard-fought performance and get the three points.