PETER JACKSON laid down the law today on why the derby showdown with Bradford City is so important for Town's season as a whole.
Battling Town were unlucky to lose 2-1 in front of 2,229 travelling fans at Oldham but go into the high noon Galpharm clash with Bradford on Saturday having won just once in eight outings.
Six points from the last 18 available is a record Jackson is keen to improve as well - and he means to start straight away.
"All derbies matter, of course they do, but this one is massive," said Jackson, whose Reserves were in action at Halifax today (2.00).
"It's local pride which is at stake and everyone knows it, but most importantly it's the first of two consecutive home games for us and we want to pick up maximum points.
"We are just inconsistent at the moment and I've told the lads we can't keep on winning one, drawing one and losing one - that's not good enough.
"If we are going to be up there with the challengers this season we have to start winning matches, and winning them consistently."
Town are 11th in the Coca-Cola League I table to Bradford's seventh, but Jackson's side are 19th on form despite Pawel Abbott's 15th goal of the season at Boundary Park, where Will Haining and Kevin Betsy were on target for the home side.
"I was delighted to see so many of our fans over there and their applause at the end was very much appreciated because they knew how much commitment and effort the lads put in," added Jackson, who brought in Anthony Lloyd for suspended Lee Fowler and shifted Andy Holdsworth to midfield.
"I couldn't ask any more from the players, but we just couldn't find that bit of luck we needed in front of goal in a second half we dominated.
"Oldham are on a fantastic run (seven straight wins) but I still felt we could win the game and, on another day and with a bit more luck, we would have done.
"I thought Junior Mendes and Danny Schofield looked sharp when they went on, I thought we should definitely have had a penalty and one or two of the saves made by Les Pogliacomi were absolutely outstanding.
"That's how it can go sometimes and it just makes it all the more frustrating that we conceded two awful goals. The first one was down to bad marking and the second was just shocking."
Abbott and Schofield both underwent FA drugs tests after the game, delaying departure of the team bus for over an hour.
Striker Akpo Sodje was in line to play at least part of today's Pontin's League game at The Shay.