Colin Calderwood urges Cambridge United caution ahead of Oldham Athletic clash
Colin Calderwood is wary of the threat posed by Oldham Athletic ahead of their visit to Cambridge United in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow.
The Latics are comfortably mid-table, but any hopes of an outside run at the play-offs have been hindered by their recent form.
They have failed to win in their past four matches, with their latest result being a 1-1 draw with Stevenage, who grabbed a last-minute equaliser.
But U’s head coach Calderwood is not reading too much into their results.
“Watching their games, I think they have have been more than a shade unfortunate not to have ticked off a couple of wins,” he said.
“Away at Bury is obviously an extremely hard place to play at the minute [they lost 3-1 two games ago], but they almost had the game won last week [against Stevenage] apart from the late goal and deserved to win the game.
“They were the dominant team on the day and they look as if they have enough of a danger for us to be really aware of what that is, but somehow we’ve got to have our game give them some problems.
“We need to really concentrate on what we can try to do as well as we can to cause them a problem, to make them defend, make them anxious, make them nervous.
“We’ve got to get after teams, we’ve got to be aggressive in the moment and this is the perfect moment to be aggressive and drive home the slight advantage we’ve got from the teams at the bottom and make sure it is minimum what it is pre-game, it is after.”
Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes is in charge of Oldham, and the two managers came up against each other a number of times when Calderwood was at Tottenham Hotspur.
But the U’s head coach believes it is not possible to assess whether Oldham play in the style of their boss.
“The levels are so different,” said Calderwood. “The level that he played at and the level of player that he is compared to the ones that are there is an obvious difference.
“But it’s the way he views his team in an image of what he thinks football is, more than himself.
“I think this will be a really tough game as they’ve got a little bit of everything. They’ve got a bit of pace, some really good individuals and on the back of that I think this will make it awkward and really focus our mind that this may be our hardest home game.”
And Calderwood believes that the philosophy of how a manager wants the game to be played does not necessarily reflect the style in which they played the game.
“You definitely don’t do it the way you played otherwise we’d be in a lot of trouble,” he joked.
“It’s your ideas, your experience a little bit and for me it’s trying to bring a simplicity to it - simple jobs, simple rules within units and teams. And try to execute that.
“Off the back of that, there’s a luck, an amount of running, an amount of toughness that you need to give yourselves the best chance I think.
“There are plenty of people with talent, plenty of people with technical skill, plenty of people are fit and are aggressive but you’ve got to have the right combination of that within a person but also within your squad.”