League One Manager Preview: John Sheridan and Oldhamby Mike Holden / 18 July 2017, 09:42Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews John Sheridan and Oldham ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League One season.
John Sheridan transformed a lamentable Oldham side into a tidy proposition for the second season running, comfortably navigating a path out of the drop zone into calmer waters with a near-identical record over the same 21-game period between mid-January and May. This time, he sticks around to oversee the start of a new campaign with the Latics a dozen players better off on the first day of pre-season than they were last summer. There’s been almost no movement out of the club. Craig Davies comes in to bolster the attack.
The old Bill Skankly adage that 'football is a simple game made complicated by idiots' sums up Sheridan’s attitude to a tee. Beyond implementing the basics, his management style is very relaxed, only ever stepping in to dominate proceedings whenever something goes wrong. Cold logic is the currency he deals in, which works wonders when he arrives at a club in a mess. His powers of observation allow him to identify the root of most problems and fix things quickly. He's certainly not the arm-around-the-shoulder type.
"You look at who has the best squad and biggest budgets but we proved what we can do at the end of last season against Sheffield United, Bolton and Fleetwood. Two of those went up, but there wasn't a massive difference. They had a bit better quality but all we need to do is show what we have done in my last two seasons. Be resolute, thinking we are not going to be beaten, believing we are going to win at home. Those are the little things that help you."
If Oldham could somehow reproduce and maintain the standards they've set under Sheridan over the past two seasons, they would be chasing a play-off berth beyond Easter, sitting pretty on 66 points with four games to play. Life, of course, is never that straightforward but the Latics should at least expect to keep the relegation zone at arm’s length this time around, thereby stretching their third-tier status to an incredible 22nd consecutive campaign. Davies is an intriguing addition. He bagged 23 goals under Sheridan six years ago at Chesterfield.
Prediction: bottom half