CARETAKER manager Pete Wild is happy Emirates FA Cup giantkillers Oldham Athletic have gone below the radar in their preparations for Saturday’s fourth-round tie at Doncaster Rovers.
There was general disappointment when Latics, who beat Premier League Fulham earlier this month, were drawn away to Sky Bet League One opposition and failed to land a lucrative tie.
“I was the only one happy with the draw as it took the spotlight off us,” explained Wild who was raised in Diggle and who lives in Royton.
“After Fulham the amount of attention on us was ridiculous, though it was good that it put the club on the map.
“As we have been drawn against a League One club, it hasn’t been anywhere near that level and it has allowed us to be a football team rather than being part of a media circus. We have been able to concentrate day to day on preparing for the game.”
Wild, 34, who will be in his sixth game in temporary charge following Frankie Bunn’s sacking, said his team is “prepared and ready” after a full week’s uninterrupted training.
He believes Doncaster could be a tougher opponent than Fulham, explaining: “They are a very good footballing team and, if we are not at it as happened at Macclesfield Town last Saturday, we will come unstuck.
“It is important we play at our maximum. We are not good enough to win when we are below that.”
Wild is disappointed Latics have picked up only one point from a possible six since the Fulham game – a home goalless draw against Forest Green Rovers and loss at lowly Macclesfield Town.
He is aware that cup success can prove a distraction, continuing: “We were the only one of the giantkillers to pick up a point and all the other teams lost.
“One points from a possible six hasn’t been good enough.”
The cup tie could be Wild’s last game in charge with Grasscroft’s Paul Scholes, the Manchester United legend, widely tipped to become the next manager.
Wild, happy to return to his job as academy manager, says the time is not right to contemplate doing it permanently.
He said: “May be in the future I may be inclined to take the job, but it has to be right for everyone, including the club.
“I have enjoyed the experience, media and everything that comes with it, but at 3pm it has been just like any other match. I have just got on with it.
“I am pragmatic. It was great to win the first three games but the last two have not gone my way.”