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HOLDEN RELISHING OLDHAM RETURN

8 April 2016

Coach confident of three points...

Coach Dean Holden is confident Walsall can get three points against his former club Oldham tomorrow afternoon.

The 36-year-old recently re-joined the Saddlers as part of head coach Jon Whitney’s management team following a 15-month spell at Boundary Park.

During his time with the Latics, Holden worked as first-team coach, caretaker manager and assistant boss before leaving the club in January.

With John Sheridan now back in charge, resurgent relegation battlers Oldham have lost just two of their last 13 matches to move to within a point of safety.

And Holden is expecting a difficult fixture at his old stomping ground – but believes Walsall can “do the business”.

“I’m very much looking forward to going back,” said Holden, who also played for Oldham from 2001 to 2005.

“I still know a lot of people there from my time as a player and a coach. Hopefully we can get the three points we need but I’m expecting a really tough match.

"They’ve been on a decent run of form since John took over. We know we’re going to be in for one hell of a battle and we’ve got to win the battle first before we can play our own game.

"We know what our strengths are but we need to match the hard work and endeavour of Oldham’s team and they’ve got some really good quality players.

"But the focus is on us and we need to play our game, stick to our beliefs and do what we’re good at.

"In this division it’s about who performs on the day but we’re very confident we can go there and do the business."

Reflecting on his time as a coach at Boundary Park, Holden added: “It was an unbelievable experience. I’m very thankful to Lee Johnson for taking me there as first-team coach.

"Leaving Walsall was very tough but to go there was important for my coaching career. I very quickly became manager and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

"It was a huge challenge for me as a person, as a coach and as a leader. So many things were going on off the pitch, it was just all about trying to regain the focus.

I’ve got some great memories from my time there and although it was disappointing to leave when I did, it was a wonderful experience."

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