Plymouth Argyle face off against Oldham Athletic this weekend hoping to get back to winning ways after a disappointing defeat against Northampton on Saturday. Ahead of the clash, we spoke to Oldham fan Chris Stringer of d3d4football.com to get his views on the game, and the Latics’ prospects for the season in general.
First of all, how did you get into supporting Oldham?
I went with my dad in 2006. There was an offer from the sponsors meaning adults got in for £3 and children for £1. Following that, we got a half season ticket and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m still a season ticket holder to this day.
Are there any new signings at Oldham people should be looking out for?
David Wheater has been our best signing; he’s a real rock at the back and a great leader. He shouldn’t be in League Two. Desire Segbe Azankpo looks to have some potential, as does Dylan Fage.
It appears that Oldham have got off to a disappointing start, with just one win from the first six games. Has that led to any early pressure being placed on new manager Laurent Banide?
The pressure isn’t on Banide as it is on the board and the owner. The club is run under the model of a Head Coach (Banide) and a Sporting Director (this is our owner’s brother, Mohammed Lemsagam). Lemsagam is the one to have brought the players in, who are mostly disappointing, and is rumoured to be interfering in first team affairs. A small protest took place against the board at the weekend.
What would you say your ambitions are for the rest of the season?
Staying up with the way we look. I still think we’ll become a reasonable side and will secure a mid-table place, but I am concerned. Personally, I would like to see Oldham fighting for promotion, but our squad doesn’t look capable of that at the moment.
What sort of tactical style do you expect to set up with on Saturday?
We’ve been playing a sort of 4-2-3-1. We tend to try and soak up pressure before counterattacking in a fluid manner. Our two central midfielders tend to sit fairly deep, with two attacking wingers and a central attacking midfielder in behind Azankpo or Wilson.
And are there any real weak links in the side you’re worried about?
Urko Vera and Sohny Sefil are seriously poor, but they have finally been dropped from the side. Our biggest weakness as a side is the lack of goalscoring; we’re not utilising the strengths of Scott Wilson or Desire Segbe Azankpo.
What first comes to mind when you think of Plymouth Argyle?
The trip I made down there two seasons ago. We travelled for six hours to get down, our train got delayed and we had to get a connection at Exeter. Our train back got cancelled and we had to get a lift back the following day. To top it all off, we were 2 – 0 down within seven minutes and went on to lose 4 – 1.
Which Argyle player, if any, would you like to sign?
Danny Mayor. He’s a superb winger and I hoped Oldham would sign him when he left Bury.
Do you have any predictions for League Two in general this year?
We predicted in the D3D4 preview podcast. I think Plymouth, Mansfield and Forest Green will have especially good seasons and Crewe will surprise us. I expect that Macclesfield may struggle, despite an excellent start. Scunthorpe and Walsall will disappoint I believe.
And finally, what is your prediction for the game itself?
Plymouth are excellent and we don’t score enough. I think Wheater will keep the defence sturdy, but we won’t have enough to hold off a good team in Plymouth. Argyle 3 – 1 Latics.