OLDHAM Athletic caretaker chief Pete Wild claimed he didn’t change much to help his side end a challenging week with a morale-boosting 4-1 win at Port Vale in League Two.

The Latics sacked Frankie Bunn in acrimonious circumstances on Thursday but goals from Callum Lang, Mohamed Maouche, Gevaro Nepomuceno and Chris O’Grady healed the wounds.

Wild, who took his temporary charges to the brink of the play-offs in the fourth tier with the victory, revelled in the reaction of the squad to Bunn’s departure.

“As we said, there wasn’t a lot wrong, maybe a little motivation, so me and the staff only had to make little tweaks,” said Wild.

“I’m absolutely over the moon for the players, the staff and the club. We constantly have adversity here at the moment but I’m just happy that we are back to winning ways.

“I love this club, so hopefully we can move forward now."

“We have strong characters and it says everything about the players. I was asking the senior players to help me out and show a reaction and it felt like every player showed the right response.

“I’m very proud of the lads.

“I just told them to go and enjoy themselves, they are paid to be professional footballers even through the hard times and the adversity that we have faced.”

“I had a lot of family and friends at the game, so it was a fantastic moment for me. From now this needs to be a looking up mission, not a looking down one.”

Bunn, dismissed after a 6-0 Boxing Day drubbing at Carlisle, had led the Latics into the top half and victory in Staffordshire means they sit five points shy of the top six.

Wigan loanee Lang had a good early opening for Oldham as he latched onto a pass from Tom Hamer and poked the ball towards goal but the effort was saved by the boot of Vale stopper Scott Brown.

Oldham keeper Daniel Iversen then had to be at his best to keep Whitfield’s powerful strike out, diving to his left to scoop the ball out of the top corner and parry it behind.

Lang opened the scoring on 32 minutes – the forward capitalised on a defensive mistake to calmly finish low right-footed under Brown following Chris O’Grady’s pass.

But the lead didn’t last long with Kay’s free-kick bundled in by Whitfield from a matter of yards into the bottom corner with 39 minutes on the clock.

Provider O’Grady nearly bagged a goal of his own in the latter stages of the first half when he controlled Christopher Missilou’s through ball and watched his curled effort pawed away by Brown.

As play resumed for the second half, Tom Pope slammed his snapshot just past the upright.

Oldham were soon in front again as Hamer’s long throw from the right caused chaos in the penalty area and Maouche’s audacious backheeled effort deflected past Brown and into the bottom right corner after 53 minutes.

Buoyed by regaining the lead, Oldham almost added a third with the impressive Lang forcing Brown into a low stop, as the visitors aimed to take all three points with them back to Boundary Park.

Nepomuceno ended a fine team move by drilling home beyond a helpless Brown into the bottom left corner on 87 minutes.

O’Grady capped off a fine team display when he drove in a fourth in stoppage time at the end of the second half.

Vale: Brown, Montano, Legge, Smith, Vassell (Worrall 45) Clark, Oyeleke, Kay (Quigley 65) Hannant, Whitfield, Pope

Subs: Hornby, Gibbons, Joyce, Dodds, Conlon

Oldham: Iversen 7, Edmundson 6, Clarke 6, Hunt 6, Hamer 7, Lyden 6, Missilou 7, Nepomuceno 7, Maouche 7, Lang 8 (Branger-Engone 78 6) O’Grady 7

Subs: Taylor, De La Pazx, Graham, Norman, Robinson, Williams

Star man: Callum Lang, Oldham Athletic, striker

Entertainment Rating: PVFC 2/5 OAFC 3/5

Attendance: 4,435 (778 Latics fans)

Referee: Paul Marsden