Dino Maamria hailed his players for putting off-field issues behind them after Oldham Athletic romped to an emphatic 5-0 victory over Newport County.

Goals from Zak Dearnley, Tom Hamer, Jonny Smith and a Danny Rowe double were enough to ease past a flat Newport side, who now lie just two points ahead of the Latics in the League Two table.

This week has been marred by financial issues for Maamria’s team, players and staff told their wages would be late before the club were threatened with the possibility of administration – a court hearing due to take place in Manchester on Friday.

But the Oldham boss, whose side are now 17th in the table, was relieved that his players let their football do the talking.

“It was a big day for us – we showed what we’re about,” he said.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going and we showed what we’re about – it was a very good for Oldham Athletic, a very good day for our fans.

“It’s brilliant and the credit must go to the players – it’s been a difficult week with the weather and finding a place to train.

“I had to address the players before the game (about the financial issues).

“I spoke to all of them in a group message and I thought the players’ application was second to none.

“I thought they showed a lot of b******s, they showed a lot of desire, a lot of togetherness and we showed what we’re all about as a team and as a club.

“We shouldn’t be where we are in the league, but we are where we are.

“We’ve got 10 games to go and we’ve got to build on this result and this performance. We can take a lot of confidence from that.”

Maamria made four changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Leyton Orient last weekend, with goalkeeper Zeus De La Paz, full-backs Hamer and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and midfielder Gevaro Nepomuceno all drafted in.

Newport lost winger Jordan Green to injury in the warm-up, meaning they could only name four fit substitutes, and they looked out of sorts from the off.

Dearnley, who bagged a brace at Orient, almost broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when he climbed high to meet a corner and headed against the post with visiting goalkeeper Tom King beaten.

Winger Smith fired just wide moments later as Maamria’s men started brightly.

Rowe then tried his luck from distance, his shot just clearing the bar as King raced back towards his goal.

And Mohamed Sylla’s cross-shot was diverted just the wrong side of the post by David Wheater.

The hosts were well on top and they got the goal they deserved when Rowe took the ball around King and fired in from an acute angle in the 25th minute.

And, before the visitors could recover, Borthwick-Jackson broke down the left and crossed for Dearnley to coolly slot past King on the volley and put Oldham in complete control of the contest after just 27 minutes with his fourth goal in his last four games.

Oldham took their foot off the gas for the remainder of the first half, but they didn’t let a poor Newport team off the hook after the break.

Rowe added his second on 52 minutes as he turned his man in the box and slotted the ball under King from close range.

And Hamer claimed the fourth 10 minutes later when his shot looped off defender Ryan Inniss and into the top corner.

Newport manager Michael Flynn tried to change things by bringing on youngster Lewis Collins, defender Kyle Howkins and midfielder Matty Dolan but they could find no way back into the game.

And Smith completed their misery and put the cherry on a morale-boosting victory for the Latics when he turned inside Inniss and found the bottom corner seven minutes from time.

Oldham: De La Paz 7; Hamer 8, Wheater 7, Piergianni 7, Borthwick-Jackson 8; Smith 7, McCann 7 (Missilou 86), Nepomuceno 7, Sylla 7 (N’Guessan 90); Dearnley 8 (Maouche 6, 66), Rowe 8

Subs not used: Allen, Branger-Engone, Segbe Azankpo, Egert

Newport: King; Willmott (Howkins, 56), Inniss, Demetriou, Haynes; Khan (Collins, 46), Sheehan, Gorman, Nurse; Amond; Matt (Dolan, 75)

Subs not used: Abrahams, Green

Referee: Tom Bramall

Attendance: 2,912 (147 away)