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Keith Curle looking for stronger defensive resilience at Oldham

Keith Curle looking for stronger defensive resilience at Oldham
© Reuters
The Latics finished 18th at the end of last season.

Head coach Keith Curle will try to strike a balance between attack and defence as Oldham launch the new League Two campaign at home to Newport.

The Latics scored 72 goals last season, but conceded 81 as they finished in 18th place and too close for comfort to the relegation zone.

As a result, Curle has spent much of the summer looking for defensive reinforcements and will have new boys Jack Stobbs, Jordan Clarke, Harrison McGahey and Sam Hart, as well as keeper Jayson Leutwiler, at his disposal this weekend.

However, he is determined to retain an attacking threat and the addition of former Bury, Carlisle and Swindon striker Hallam Hope to the mix has given him a fresh option.

Newport boss Michael Flynn will have to do without one of his 12 summer signings for much of the campaign.

Midfielder Courtney Senior damaged an anterior cruciate ligament during pre-season and could be sidelined for up to nine months.

However the Exiles, captained this season by midfielder Matty Dolan, could have a new look for the campaign with the rest of Flynn's newcomers pushing to be involved.

Keeper Joe Day, defenders Cameron Norman, James Clarke and Louis Hall, midfielders Ed Upson and Finn Azaz and strikers Courtney Baker-Richardson, Jermaine Hylton, Timmy Abraham and Jordan Greenidge will all hope for roles in the season's curtain-raiser.

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