sport

Lockwood relying on team spirit

New arrival Adam Lockwood is confident Oldham do not need any stand-out stars to be a success in Sky Bet League One.

Latics lost Jose Baxter, their top scorer from last season, in the summer transfer window to Sheffield United and sold exciting young centre-back James Tarkowski to Brentford at the end of January.

While those two are now at League One rivals - Tarkowski will return to Boundary Park on loan, though - striker Adam Rooney also left Oldham for Aberdeen last month having scored seven goals for Lee Johnson's men this term.

With clubs at the upper end of the league buying better players, rather than selling them, some Latics fans may well wonder how their team can be promoted from a division they have been in since 1997.

However, Lockwood, a free signing for Oldham in January, insists a close-knit group can be almost as important.

"I've been involved in squads where you don't have to do that," the 32-year-old said of making big-money signings.

"It's shown over the years in the Football League that teams that are pulling in the same direction and want to achieve the same thing, it happens - clubs go all the way, play top-level with similar groups to what they started with.

"I've been lucky enough to be involved in a couple of clubs like that and it's more of a philosophy that everyone buys into and I think that's beginning to happen here, hopefully it can."

Johnson has placed an emphasis on developing younger players during his time at the Boundary Park helm, something which Tarkowski in particular benefited from.

But, with so many inexperienced players now on Oldham's books, Lockwood is hoping to pass on the wisdom he has accumulated at spells with the likes of Yeovil, Doncaster and Bury.

Lockwood, who is just four months his manager's junior, added: "That's what I want to do and I always look back to when I was young and players that I had around me helped me out.

"I sometimes pull that experience now and I look at things that people did for me when I was young and I always tried to listen and improve myself.

"If I can do anything to help anybody, whether it's in football, life, anything, as a friend or a colleague that's what I want to do. Hopefully I can help in that way."