DEFENDER David Mirfin says Town have two good reasons to show plenty of passion in Saturday’s trans-Pennine derby at home to Oldham.
The 22-year-old is still smarting from Sunday’s 2-0 League I setback at Doncaster, and still has clear memories of last season’s 3-0 home defeat by the Latics.
“None of us can be happy with our last performance, or confident of keeping our places, and it’s down to whoever is selected to put things right,” he said.
“We also let ourselves down against Oldham at our place last season, and it would be nice to go some way towards putting the record straight.”
Oldham’s Galpharm win was one of 21 recorded by John Sheridan’s side as they made the play-offs (they went down to eventual winners Blackpool in the semi-finals).
They’ve made a sluggish start this time and are 19th, three places and three points behind Town but with two games in hand.
“Both ourselves and Oldham are capable of doing far better than we are and, like us, they’ll see this game as a chance to kick-start a climb up the table,” added Mirfin.
“We have to ensure we are sharper than in the last two matches, because it’s crucial we get the three points.”
Town, whose Reserves drew 3-3 with Morecambe in the Pontin’s Holidays League Cup at the Galpharm last night, have defender Frank Sinclair available after a one-match ban.
Oldham, who didn’t have a game last weekend, are missing striker Michael Ricketts through suspension.
That could signal a first league start for 20-year-old Matthew Wolfenden, who has scored twice when coming off the bench this season.
They are also hoping to bring in a goalkeeper on loan before Saturday because experienced pair Mark Crossley (thigh) and Les Pogliacomi (knee) are both out injured.
The only other keepers on the books at Boundary Park are Josh Bell, 17, and Josh Ollerenshaw, 16.
“We’ve made enquiries for a number of different goalkeepers,” said Sheridan’s assistant Tommy Wright.
“We’re close to sorting something, and hopefully the deal will be done in time for the player concerned to train with us tomorrow.”