OLDHAM boss Frankie Bunn has vowed to fight on but admits off-field distractions are becoming tough to deal with after going down 2-1 at ten-man Northampton Town.

Oldham’s off-field issues have marred their season, with talks of player strikes due to unpaid wages hitting the headlines, and on the eve of the trip down to Northampton, Bunn’s number two Andy Rhodes left the club after just four months in the role.

Less than an hour later owner Abdallah Lemsagam released a statement saying “more changes at the club will be announced in due course”, while on the pitch John-Joe O’Toole and Kevin van Veen scored first-half goals either side of Sam Foley’s sending off for Northampton.

Rob Hunt grabbed a goal back but it was a case of too little too late for the Latics and Bunn concedes the constant uncertainty doesn’t make things easy.

"The preparation for the game has been difficult but it’s happened and the club moves on as it always moves on,” he said.

"We’ve got to deal with it. It was the owner’s decision [to get rid of assistant Andy Rhodes]. We need to keep preparing for the games and see what happens.

“There’s been a lot of news around our football club and we just want to play football. There are a lot of snipers out there and we’ve just got to make sure we’re looking after ourselves.

“Our main focus is that we’re picking up points. I’m not turning my back on the club. You keep going and keep going until you’re told otherwise.”

Bunn’s boys started brightly and saw an early shout for a handball penalty turned down.

Neither side managed to create anything meaningful, with Gevaro Nepomuceno firing wide, while down the other end the Cobblers threatened as van Veen and O’Toole linked up with the latter lashing off target.

The game sprung in to life towards the end of the first half as Oldham failed to clear their lines from a corner and O’Toole was on hand to poke home his second goal of the campaign after David Buchanan’s testing ball was nodded back across goal by van Veen in the 36th minute.

Minutes after going ahead Northampton found themselves down to ten men though as Foley caught Christopher Missilou late.

The man advantage did nothing for the Latics as they conceded a penalty a minute before the break for an alleged handball. Van Veen stepped up and slotted his spot kick in to the bottom left corner of Daniel Iversen’s goal.

Oldham were almost sucker-punched after the restart when Matt Crooks’ chip beat the on-rushing Iversen and landed wide.

But Hunt’s first professional goal got the Latics back in it. The defender found himself in the right place at the right time to convert during a goalmouth scramble with 18 minutes left.

And he almost grabbed a timely assist three minutes after breaking his goal duck, although Jose Baxter’s volley was easily saved by David Cornell.

Substitutes Baxter and Jonathan Benteke combined with the latter seeing his late header cleared off the line as Bunn was left downbeat.

“It was a frustrating afternoon,” he said. “We started brightly playing in tough conditions, although I know it is the same for both teams.

“The penalty decision was dubious to say the least. It’s not the first time it’s happened to us, either.

"We’ve looked back at the footage and no-one can see a handball. We’ve kept them in there, we’ve penned them in but we just couldn’t break them down.”

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 4,767 (351)

Northampton: David Cornell, David Buchanan, Aaron Pierre, Jordan Turnbull, Sam Foley, Shaun McWilliams, Jack Bridge (Hakeem Odoffin 45), John-Joe O'Toole, Matt Crooks, Sam Hoskins, Kevin van Veen (Daniel Powell 84).

Subs not used: Lewis Ward, Jay Williams, Sean Whaler, Andy Williams, Billy Waters

Oldham: Daniel Iversen 5, George Edmundson 5, Robert Hunt 7, Peter Clarke 6, Thomas Hamer 5, Dan Gardner 5 (Jose Baxter 45, 7), Christopher Missilou 6, Callum Lang 5, Gevario Nepomuceno 5 (Jonathan Benteke 69, 6), Chris O'Grady 4 (Ishmael Miller 45, 5), Mohamed Maouche 5.

Subs not used: Andy Taylor, Sam Graham, Johan Branger, Euan McFarlane