LAURENT Banide praised his team’s efforts but says there’s plenty of areas to work on as he started life as Oldham boss with a 1-0 defeat at Forest Green.

The Latics ended last season with three straight defeats and couldn’t prevent starting the new campaign in the same manner, with Banide having had two months to work with his squad since signing a one-year deal in June.

Super-sub Taylor Allen separated the two sides with the only goal of the game in the second half, condemning last season’s 14th-placed side to opening day defeat.

“It was positive, despite the result,” said Banide. “We had a good spirit on the field and all of our players gave their all - we played a good first half.
“We lost our energy because we didn’t keep the ball too much, so we were playing catch up and chasing them a bit.
“We didn’t create many opportunities to score so I definitely think we have to work on that.
“I also think we have to work on our technique and those times when we’re off the ball.”

Banide headed to Forest Green’s New Lawn looking to start his tenure in charge of the Latics on the front foot.

It’s been a busy summer at Boundary Park with the club signing 13 new players during the off-season - experienced defender David Wheater only joined the club on Thursday evening and went straight into the starting line-up.

The visitors started brightly, without working Forest Green keeper Lewis Thomas early on. 

Zak Mills and Johan Branger linked up well in the opening exchanges, with the latter having two strikes blocked by the host’s defence.

Just before the break referee Neil Hair waved away huge shouts for a penalty when striker Scott Wilson went down in the box after waltzing past two defenders. 

Forest Green’s Joe Mills fired a warning shot in first-half stoppage time, hitting an effort wide across the face of goal.

Oldham had appeals for a second penalty once again turned down after Wilson’s cross found Mills, who went down in the box.

The Latics were on the back foot in the second half as the hosts upped the ante as they searched for an opener. 

Gary Woods made a good save to tip Shawn McCoulsky’s effort past the post just before the hour mark, after a good team move from the hosts.

The pressure told with 18 minutes left though as Mark Cooper’s charges deservedly took the lead. 

Just eight minutes after coming off the bench, Allen broke the deadlock by firing into the roof of Woods’ net from an acute angle.

Banide continued: “The problem in front of goal is that we must create more opportunities, we have to work hard on this.
“We had some chances, but not many good ones and that’s the main problem we had.
“It’s hard when you have 14 new players coming in to the team, especially when they don’t arrive at the same time.
“We have to try and improve our quality with the players we’ve brought in and that takes time, it’s not easy to create team spirit or tactics, but it’s the way it is at the club.

“It's the first game of a long season and we'll get better with time, I am positive about the season ahead, I just think we need more quality in front of goal.

“They had some chances, but we've only conceded one goal so that's pleasing. We didn't have much of the ball but you expect that when you come away to good teams.”

Forest Green: Thomas, M.Mills, Rawson, McGinley, Bernard, Morton, Dawson, J.Mills , Collins (Allen 64), Williams (Mondal 5), McCoulsky (Stevens 73) 

Unused subs: Smith, Adams, Kitching, Grubb

Oldham: Woods 6, Mills 6, Iacovitti 5, Wheater 5, Hamer 5, Sefil 5, Branger 6 (Nepomuceno 79, 4), Maouche 5, Missilou 5, Sylla 4 (Vera, 82), Wilson 5 (Azankpo 64, 5)

Unused subs: Zabret, Eagles, Stott, Fage

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 2,541 (554)