Oldham Athletic lost their second game under new manager Paul Scholes at local rivals Bury on Saturday after taking the lead in the first-half.
The Lactic’s went ahead through Wigan loanee Callum Lang in the eighth minute, but a strong second-half performance from the Shakers gave them all three points. A Nicky Maynard brace and a Jamie O’Shea strike delighted a packed Gigg Lane and means that Bury are still undefeated since Boxing Day.
Paul Scholes knew his side were in for a tough afternoon against the free-scoring Shakers and was pleased with his team’s first-half showing telling the club’s website, “I thought we did alright first-half especially, I thought we played some nice stuff and obviously got an early goal against a dangerous team.”
Scholes explained he felt the busy run of fixtures Oldham had faced since he took over affected the second half performance. “I knew Bury were a good side and I think second-half we just tired a little bit. I know we’ve had four games in two weeks, it’s been a lot of work for the players and you saw the freshness in Bury’s legs, and we suffered towards the end.”
The former England international felt an essential part of the preparation for next weeks visit of Stevenage was to give his players plenty of recovery time. “Look, it’s disappointing, but we move on now. We’ve got another game next weekend, and we start preparing on Monday for it.”
“I’ll give the players a couple of days off; they need some time off to rest from a really busy schedule after the last couple of weeks. We see more of that first-half performance in games to come, and I’m sure we’ll do ok.”
“But doing just that in the first half isn’t enough, we know we need to do it for the 90 minutes if we’re going to win games, especially against the quality of Bury.”
Saturday’s defeat further dented Oldham’s already slim hopes of making the playoffs this season and leaves Scholes with just one win and a draw from his first four matches in charge.
Scholes is finding out very quickly just how tough a job it is to manage in League Two.
The appointment was popular with fans and will no doubt be positive commercially for the club in the short term.
However, all his honours in the game and his undoubted love for the club will count for nothing with supporters if he doesn’t get results. He will be learning on the job and will be given some time with many fans already accepting this season is now over.
It will be next season when questions will be asked if Scholes understand style doesn’t see fortunes improve at Boundary Park.