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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Moore eyes meticulous recruitment
By Charlie Henderson

Oldham manager Ronnie Moore
We want winners and we'll be striving to bring them in
Ronnie Moore
Oldham Athletic manager Ronnie Moore has set his stall out to secure some experienced new faces over the summer.

And his frustration at falling off the play-off chase late in the season means mental fortitude is also crucial.

"We've got some experience in the side and I thought we had mental as well as physical toughness," he told BBC Sport.

"When you bring players in you think they're decent, and they probably are, but you don't find out their mentality until you've got them."

The Latics failed to win any of their last seven matches and faded fast as the race for promotion entered the final stages.

And the fact they played out their final game against Scunthorpe with nothing riding on it left Moore "gutted".

"Without doubt it's been a good season," he said. "We've surprised one or two and are moving in the right direction, but when it was in our own hands we were found wanting.

"At one stage we were 14 points behind Barnsley, clawed it all back and overtook them, but since we did that we haven't won and that's been the most frustrating thing.

"One point out of five games in April isn't good enough. It's like getting over the final fence and falling.

"If we'd had one win we'd have gone into the final game with a chance of the play-offs.

"I just hope one or two players feel as gutted as I do because we played Scunthorpe in front of 5,000 when it could have been razzamatazz and 8,000, with a lot of tension and people listening for what's happening everywhere else.

"There was none of that and a lot of these players will never get a better chance than they've had this season.

"But unfortunately for us, when we needed to be mentally strong one or two were found wanting.

"We want winners and we'll be striving to bring them in."

It promises to be a busy summer for Moore then as he looks to draft in suitable candidates and his initial priorities are replacements for keeper Lee Grant and striker Luke Beckett.

I'd like a nucleus of experienced players and introduce just two or three of the younger element as the season goes on
Ronnie Moore

"We got Grant in from Derby, who has been magnificent, but he has another year left on good money and there are a lot of Championship teams out there who would fancy him so we're going to lose him," Moore confirmed.

"And Beckett goes back as well. We've had him on a 12-month loan from Sheffield United and he's got us 18 goals.

"They're big replacements to find and with the budget we're limited to it's going to be difficult."

But there may be options closer to home.

After flirting with relegation for two seasons the first-team's move up League One has not been the only success.

The reserves have been flying high and the youth team romped away with the title this term, leading to Neil Eardley's graduation to the first team for the final game of the season.

"Our reserves only missed out on winning the league in the last game of the season and the youths have won their league - they scored 100 goals so we've clearly got decent kids coming through.

"But while there will be some in the first-team next season, no disrepsect to them, but a lot aren't quite ready, they haven't got a lot of wool on their backs and are still on a learning curve.

"I'd like a nucleus of experienced players and introduce just two or three of the younger element as the season goes on."

Despite Moore's frustration, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Grant is keen on switch to Oldham
04 Apr 06 |  Oldham Athletic


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