OLDHAM Athletic boss Dino Maamria admits he fears losing loanee Jonny Smith in January.

The 22-year-old has hit his stride in recent weeks, with three goals in three different competitions taking the Bristol City winger to four for the season in all.

Smith signed a season-long deal on deadline day back in September but his stint at Boundary Park could be cut short in the new year.  

With his form likely to have caught the attention of both his parent club and others higher up the pyramid Maamria is watching the situation closely having already made it clear he wants to strengthen his squad significantly in the next transfer window.

"I thought Jonny Smith was outstanding against Fleetwood (in the EFL Trophy defeat),” the Latics boss said.

"I’m worried I might lose in January, if he keeps performing the way that he's been performing. 

"He's a great lad to work with. He's not scored as many goals as he has before in his career so I’m always on his case to try and get forward as a wide player.

"I keep telling him the best players in the world are wide players, Ronaldo made his name from scoring from wide positions so he has to keep improving and doing that.

"He’s a pleasure to work with and a very coachable kid. I was glad to see him score the best goal of the night (against Fleetwood)."