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League One

Oldham Athletic manager Lee Johnson: We were comfortable

22 March 2014

Manager Lee Johnson was delighted with his players after Oldham Athletic eased their relegation fears with a 1-0 win against Crawley Town.

Danny Philliskirk's 12th goal of the season was enough to beat a Red Devils side who are still clinging on to hopes of landing a League One play-off spot.

The winner came after 18 minutes when Korey Smith found Philliskirk, who turned sharply inside the box before drilling past visiting goalkeeper Paul Jones.

Oldham dominated the first half and went close to stretching their lead through David Worrall and Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Crawley burst into life after the break, but Oldham goalkeeper Paul Rachubka made a good save from Billy Clarke and also denied Jamie Proctor.

It was Oldham's first victory in six games and Johnson said: "This is a great three points for us.

"We were excellent in the first half and were unlucky not to score a second goal.

"I think the players are trying to kill me because the longer the game went on, the edgier it got.

"I'm so pleased for the lads and for the club as a whole. We all felt we needed this win and the fans were superb in getting behind us.

"If you watch the video you will see we were comfortable. It felt a bit panicky because of the pressure, but the lads were excellent and Crawley didn't have many chances.

"I watched Crawley beat Wolves during the week when they were very good, but here our lads put in a great shift to beat them.

"We were resolute in defence, we stood up to it and we finished the game strongly, which was down to our fitness.

"It's pleasing to keep a clean sheet and I'm just delighted for everyone."

Crawley boss John Gregory admitted his side's play-off chances had suffered a blow.

"Based on our second-half performance we deserved something from the game, but the first half was poor by our standards - or by anyone's standards, for that matter," Gregory said.

"We were fortunate that it was only 1-0 at half-time. We had a go afterwards, but we couldn't find the equaliser despite an enormous amount of possession.

"I've often said I can't keep picking the same 11 players for every game. Others need to step up to the plate, be vocal and take responsibility, but there wasn't enough of that in the first half.

"We knew Oldham had lost their last three home games and we came here full of confidence, but we didn't get going until after half-time.

"This was a chance to make up ground on the play-offs, but it has gone now and that's the biggest disappointment.

"The first 45 minutes were a punch on the nose for us. But I have to keep everything in perspective because the lads have worked exceptionally hard over the last few weeks and we've done incredibly well to amass this number of points."

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