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Brown on Ritchie Wellens' Oldham and turning draws into wins

30 November 2017

Phil Brown is wary that Blues will this weekend come up against one of the form sides in Oldham Athletic.

Since the arrival of Ritchie Wellens as manager, the Latics have climbed from rock bottom of the Sky Bet League One table to 17th.

And Brown is impressed by the former midfielder’s start to life in the managerial hot-seat.

“Ritchie Wellens seems to have taken to management like a fish to water and they’re a form team,” he said.

“They’ve won two, lost two and drawn two of their last six games, with two 0-0 draws, but both managers that I’ve spoken to about them 0-0 draws say how much Oldham are playing open and expansive football.

“I’ve watched him [Wellens] playing football over the years and he was a rare creature for sure. He cut his teeth and learned his trade at Manchester United with some great players, but he could handle the ball.

“He’s demanding that of his team. The last two games they’ve played, albeit have brought two points like we have, they have dominated possession, quality of pass, quality of ball in the final third, quality of cross etc, but so have we.

“There are certain things about the game that we have to be aware of, but certain things about our game that I’m more than aware of which is the creativity side of things.”

Although praising the new-look Oldham, Brown was confident in his Blues side that they are very close to turning draws into wins.

“At the moment, the last two games we’ve got over 85 crosses into the opposition’s penalty area. That, for me, should be six or seven goals, but we’ve only got a couple.

“It’s that belief that the players have got when they go into the penalty box that things will start to fall for us, eventually they will do.

“If we keep believing that then we’ll start seeing teams off.”

A win for Blues will move them onto the same amount of points after the same amount of games as last season.

“Just a week later, 28 points from 20 games is a healthy return, but not as healthy as it could have been,” Brown said.

“If you want to analyse the negatives of missing four penalties, of the games that we’ve drawn which we should have won, then analyse it by all means, but I’ve got to take the positives from it.

“The positives are that we are well and truly in control of a lot of games, but we just haven’t gone onto win them.

“Once we get that run, once we get that mentality, once we get that next penalty and hit the back of the net then who knows where it takes us.”

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