Table topping Oldham visit Edgeley Park on Friday night for a highly awaited local derby.
Oldham have sold out all of their 2000 tickets for the game, and have now requested for more.
County are expecting a gate of around 8000 for the Friday night tie.
One player who seemingly won’t be experiencing any of the big derby against his old club is captain Gareth Owen.
Owen was substituted last week after a mistake from the skipper let Cheltenham in to score on the way to a 2-2 draw.
As Owen was replaced, Jim Gannon offered his hand to Owen as he does to every player, but Owen refused and words were had between the two characters.
Gannon then let slip on Pure FM that Michael Raynes would be captaining the side on Friday night – but it was still hoped that Owen and Gannon would reconcile. There has been no signal of that though so far (see Gannon’s thoughts regarding Owen in the Vital Quotes section below.)
Anyway, Friday Night is County Night tomorrow in what will be a crackling atmospheric game. Get yourself down there and cheer on the lads to a great win against the League One pace setters!
Jim Gannon (regarding Gareth Owen): ‘I was disappointed with Gaz’s performance, particularly with regards to the second goal.The ball was allowed to travel 80 yards and bounce into our box.’
‘I’d been thinking of making a tactical change to give us a little bit more pace at the back.
‘Gaz took exception to it and the manner in which he left the field was very disappointing.
‘I’m not having anyone turning away when I, as I customarily do, shake each player’s hand as they leave the pitch.’
‘Gaz said some words that were inappropriate so the matter has been passed over to the chief executive.’
‘We’ve got a code of conduct at the club and often we have quiet words with people. But sometimes a quiet word isn’t enough.
‘We need to make a statement.
Interstingly, Gannon added: ‘If I’ve lost confidence in Gaz as a player and a person, it’s likely that he won’t be involved on Friday. ‘
Make of it what you will, but the signs don’t look good for the popular captain.
County Team News:
Former Oldham boy Jason Taylor makes a timely return to face his old club, as does youngster James Tunnicliffe.
With Owen seemingly removed from the starting line up tomorrow, Tunnicliffe could well feature.
Matty McNeil has returned to training this week, though boss Jim Gannon thinks McNeil will not be ready for tomorrow’s game due to a lack of match fitness.
New keeper Fraser Forster will likely start on the bench before Owain fon Williams heads off for international duty.
Player to watch: The 12th Man
Jim Gannon was critical of the fans in his pre-Swindon programme notes, but then praised them for a good vocal backing of the side in the 1-1 draw.
It will be interesting to see how the possibly large crowd will react if County do go a goal down tomorrow.
Oldham Team News:
Oldham Athletic Official Site:
Manager John Sheridan has revealed his intention to extend defender Richie Byrne’s temporary deal.
The Irishman’s month-long agreement is due to expire next week and the boss is due to sit down with the player to discuss an extension.
Ex-Aberdeen man Byrne has made a single substitute appearance for Athletic so far but has impressed in the reserve side.
Player to watch: Lee Hughes
Lee Hughes has an uncanny knack of scoring against us, and with him facing a lot of grief from the County fans, he will most likely return the favour with a good performance against the Hatters back line.
The big striker has notched 9 goals in 8 games against the Hatters.
League Head-To-Heads –
County wins 19
Oldham wins 25
2-1 County. Hughes will probably grab a goal, but County will be strong enough to bounce back and grab ther first home win of the season.
Bury v COUNTY
JPT Round 2
Tuesday 7th October, 7:45pm