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Kewell: Oldham will test us

Boss expects challenging encounter

5 November 2018

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Harry Kewell says his defence will have to stand up to a tough test if Notts are to beat Oldham in Tuesday night’s clash.

The Latics visit Meadow Lane in a rearranged fixture with both sides short of form in Sky Bet League Two.

Despite their recent run, Kewell is expecting the visitors to give his defence a lot to think about on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a challenge for my back four,” said the Australian.

“They have two big, aggressive strikers and tricky wingers who cross the ball well but aren’t scared to cut inside for a shot at goal.

“They aren’t in the best form but they’re strong in a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 so it’s important we win the midfield battle and create - and take - chances.”

Kewell feels his side are training well, saying it is important to keep throwing new challenges at the players to get the best out of them.

“People want to come into work and be stimulated and footballers are no different,” he said.

“No one wants to be doing the same thing every day and I think challenging them maintains their focus and engagement.

“As a player, I used to love being challenged and I feel the players have to be made to think, otherwise performance levels can drop.”

Jon Stead missed Saturday’s clash with Port Vale through injury, while Richard Duffy came off the bench following a long absence.

And the gaffer says it was good to welcome the Welsh defender back into the fray.

Kewell said: “Duffy is a player with great experience and he’s a big character at this club so it’s great to have him in contention again.

“We have to be patient with him so we can't rush him back, and the same goes for Steady who missed Saturday’s match as a precautionary measure.

“Jon faces a fitness test ahead of Oldham so we’ll wait and see if he’s available, while we should have Ben Hall back in training next week which is excellent news.”

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