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Liam Lawrence On Oldham Clash

21 August 2015

Midfielder Urges Town To Bounce Back

“He was a good player, a good vice-captain and a bit of a leader around the place as well,” admitted Lawrence.

“He’s been outstanding for the past season and a bit so of course he’ll be missed but we wish him well and we have to move on now and get on with things and forget about it.

“He was a voice. It wasn’t just me in the dressing room that was a voice there was him as well so in that sense he’ll be missed. He’s a good emerging talent and I wish him well and I think he’s got every chance to go on and make it big.

“I thought Mark played really well the other night when he came in. I thought he filled that role really well and was one of our plus points and there weren’t many.

“Connor's a fantastic talent and was a good leader around the place but it’s time for other people to step up now and say ‘right I’m going to be a voice, I’m going to be a strong character and I want to play every week.’

“I think Mark’s a good defender. He’s good in the air and does his job; we just need him to be more vocal, which he knows he’s got to do.

"Jermaine is the same and we have Natty (Nathaniel Knight-Percival) coming back who’s a good lad and a great leader as well so when we get Natty back it’ll be a bonus.”

And Lawrence admits that, despite the blow of losing such a talented player, it’s important the players forget about it, move on and for someone to step in and fill the void.

Vice captain Connor Goldson completed a move to Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion this week.

“The lads look at you in training and around the place and they need to see smiles and people being as normal as possible,” admitted the 33-year-old. 

“It’s not just about wearing an armband on a match day that’s for sure. We’ll pick them up and we’ll go again.

“The chats that we’ve had after the game and today – it’s about getting in people’s heads now and getting them perked up again and realise we are a good team with some good players so it’s about getting them mentally right before the game on Saturday.”

Lawrence feels now more than ever his own leadership skills are put to the test, admitting that this is the time people start looking towards their captain for inspiration.

“Obviously with losing our two home games now it’s not acceptable, not by our standards and not by the gaffer’s,” said Lawrence.

“We’ve got a tough game at the weekend but hopefully we’ll go there and get back to what we do best and hopefully get a result.

“We knew it was going to be a step up in class but I just don’t think the other night we performed in any. We didn’t do what we’re good at on and off the ball it wasn’t good enough. We all had a chat after the game and we’ve had a chat today and hopefully we’ll put things right and move forward.

“I think it was a one off. I can picture one instance last year which was the same. It felt like that the other night where nothing was working. The plan that we’d set before the game wasn’t working.

“There was no spark or getting in their faces off the ball and then when we did have the ball there weren’t enough movement or quality on the ball.

“You find at this level it’s harder and you need that little bit of quality to break teams down so its going to be another tough game for us but we’re not afraid to go there and give it our all and get a result. We’re going there to do as best we can.”

But former Sunderland and Stoke man Lawrence believes Tuesday’s performance was simply a bad day at the office compared to the high standards they have set themselves.

Town travel to Park this weekend (3pm kick-off) searching for their first league win of the season having drew one and lost two of their opening three matches.

Captain Liam Lawrence has put Shrewsbury Town's defeat to Chesterfield on Tuesday night as a ‘one-off’ and insists they’ll be out to put it right at Oldham Athletic this Saturday.

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