RICHIE Wellens was confirmed as Oldham Athletic’s new manager on Wednesday, October 18 having transformed the team’s fortunes in his spell as interim boss.
Latics were bottom of Sky Bet League One with four points from nine matches when Wellens took temporary charge after John Sheridan’s sacking.
But in his four league matches in charge, Latics picked up 10 points from a possible 12 to climb out of the relegation places. They also won at Crewe Alexandra in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Wellens, who became the only manager in the club’s history to win his first four matches, did enough to win over chairman/owner Simon Corney.
Mr Corney, who interviewed footballing greats Clarence Seedorf and Paul Scholes for the job, told Wellens he was a rank outsider when he took temporary charge as he was looking for an experienced manager.
But Latics’ chief added that if Wellens kept winning, it would give him a headache so he must have been reaching for paracetamol as he didn’t put a foot wrong.
Wellens, who had been first-team coach, had clearly identified the problems as he made five changes for his first game in charge, including the brave decision to drop senior pro Anthony Gerrard.
The changes worked as Latics beat Peterborough United who were then second in the table. Since then they have won at Portsmouth, no easy feat, and Crewe in the Checkatrade Trophy, on Saturday beat in-form Blackburn Rovers at home and on Tuesday drew 1-1 at third-placed Bradford City.
While Wellens lacks experience, but he has worked for Sir Alex Ferguson and Sven-Goran Eriksson and he has proved to be astute in his short spell at the helm.
And former Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers player Michael Gray, in his work as a pundit, declared at the weekend: “It is incredible. Whoever else is interested in the job, rip up the paper and throw it in the bin as he has got to get the job.
“Talk about momentum and getting the players up for the big games, he certainly has done that. He has been brilliant.
“Richie is winning and getting the best out of the players. It is exactly what they need right now, and he is doing brilliantly.”