Macclesfield Town boss Sol Campbell is looking forward to another Sky Bet League Two fixture, as his side prepares to face Oldham Athletic this afternoon.
The Silkmen enter the game on the back of an excellent 2-0 victory away at Grimsby Town, shutting out an opponent for the first time this calendar year as goals from Tyrone Marsh and Scott Wilson ended a run of three games without a win.
The visitors meanwhile arrive under the stewardship of caretaker manager Pete Wild, who has been in the hotseat at Boundary Park since Frankie Bunn’s departure at the end of December and Campbell believes the Latics will pose a difficult test.
“I think obviously we’ve been preparing very well because Oldham have different management and players which gives us a new problem, but we’re ready for the game. It’s going to be kind of a local derby and in that way it will give a little bit of spice to the game and a little more focus. The lads are looking forward to it, and it should be a great game.”
Oldham recorded a giant-killing the weekend before last as they stunned Premier League strugglers Fulham with two quick-fire goals to secure their passage into the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.
However, Campbell isn’t all too concerned of Oldham’s exploits, and knows all too well of the alternating demands between cup and league fixtures.
“Sometimes when you play a big game like that it does take a lot out of you because of the excitement of the big draw and winning, and it gives great confidence, but going back to the league it’s a different type of situation. There are points on the table and we’ve got to fight for those.”
With the first win of the calendar year now recorded, Campbell will be hoping his side can build from last week’s success and build a little consistency as the season progresses.
“I think you have to keep on improving, momentum is key but you have to work really hard for it and we’re not going to get anything if we don’t work hard. So that’s the first thing; work hard, everybody’s got to do their job, everyone’s got to put their best foot forward and transfer all the things that we’ve been doing on the training pitch into the main game at the weekend. That’s what we’ve been trying to do, we keep pushing people in the right way to be successful in all departments.
The Silkmen have been busy so far this transfer window, but there was one exciting addition made to the backroom staff this week as the Moss Rose welcomed Andy Cole through the door.
The former Manchester United striker brings a wealth of top-flight experience to the club and Campbell is optimistic that he will be of great benefit in aiding his player's development.
“Andy Cole will be coming in a couple of days a week and being a local lad as well, in the sense that he’s local living wise - it’s not too hard for him to get here - but what he has done in the game is fantastic. Hopefully he can bring those little nuggets of information and insight into the game and game-related stuff that are kind of forward thinking ideas that the strikers and the midfielders can really benefit from, so I’m very glad he is here.”
Macclesfield’s playing ranks were also bolstered with another Cole this week following the acquisition of Reece Cole on loan from Brentford, and the Silkmen boss is excited to see how a player of Cole’s calibre can add another dimension to his teams attacking play.
“What we see in Reece is a top, top player. He’s got a very good brain, a very good football brain and his long and short passes are great. That’s something that can definitely add to us as well, that kind of through ball mentality and always pushing for a ball past their back line, which pushes are strikers to make them runs as well. His set-plays are also very good.”
Whilst a large away contingent is expected to make the trip to the Moss Rose this afternoon, Campbell is adamant that the superb support from the home fans will be the key difference in today’s fixture.
“I know we’re at home and obviously Oldham will be bringing a lot of fans, but it all adds to the sort of occasion. That’s what football is about. You get everyone together, it’s a home game, good crowd and for the me the lads can’t ask for anymore really. They have the crowd there and there is no reason why they shouldn’t enjoy the occasion and also rise to the occasion.”