KEVIN MacDonald has wished new Oldham boss Lee Johnson luck as he begins his career with the Latics, but wants to ensure the young manager to taste defeat for the first time this afternoon.
The 31-year-old has taken over from Paul Dickov at Boundary Park to become the Football League’s youngest manager, and in his first game in charge steered his side to a 3-0 victory over Hartlepool which lifted them out of the League One drop zone.
Town face the Latics today as they go in search of their first home win since the middle of January, and MacDonald wants to see Johnson’s good start to his managerial career come to an abrupt end.
“I know Lee’s dad and have come across Lee while he was playing, and I wish him good luck although I hope that luck falls down on Friday and then picks up for him again after the game,” he said.
“He is cutting his teeth in management so good luck to him. Any managerial job’s a difficult one, and their league position is difficult, so it won’t be easy for any young manager who is going into a club in the bottom four or five,” he said.
“Knowing Lee’s father and how he goes about football, if Lee is half as good as his dad he will be very successful.
“I went into coaching when I retired at 32, and if I had it all over again I wouldn’t wish I hadn’t got injured and had to retire from football, because there is nothing better than being a footballer.
“I’m lucky I now have the second best job which is trying to coach football.”
MacDonald also rejected suggestions his side will have one eye on the crunch top of the table clash with Doncaster on Monday.
“We’ve got everybody we can get fit, fit, and we have to pick the best team we can for Saturday and then get them dusted down and put the best team we can out again on Monday,” he said.
“The most important game is the Oldham game, and we can only take it one game at a time at the moment.
“Most of the league have something to play for, so it isn’t just going to be this weekend and it will go right down to April 27 I would think.
“It’s a big game for us at home because you want to try and get your three points at home, but the big thing we have spoken about is that it’s important how we perform.
“The more games we perform to the best of our ability in the more chances we will have to score, and if on the day you don’t score the goals that happens, but the more times we do it the more games we will win.”
Defender Jay McEveley remains doubtful having missed the draw with Notts County due to a knee injury, but Tommy Miller is expected to feature despite being forced off with a dead leg.
Troy Archibald-Henville has also returned to training with the first-team squad following knee surgery, but is still a long way from returning to competitive action.