DINO Maamria understands why he has been placed on furlough leave and says he is happy to do anything to help preserve the future of Oldham Athletic.

Along with the majority of non-playing staff at Boundary Park, the Latics boss has been put on the Government’s job retention scheme that sees the state cover 80 per cent of wages - up to £2,500 a month - during the coronavirus pandemic.

That puts Maamria in an unusual situation with the manager not allowed to do any formal work for the football club.

The 48-year-old though is well aware his situation pales into insignificance when it comes to both the long-term survival of Latics and the country coming through a major health crisis.

“We’re in a situation, certainly with our football club, where we need every penny,” said Maamria, who was placed on leave at the end of last month.

“We’ve been struggling financially and I didn’t hesitate when asked the question, I accepted it straight away just for the good of the football club.

“It’s important that the football club survives and if that’s going to hit me in the pocket it is what it is.

“I’ve got to look at the big picture, it’s not a time to do the selfish thing.

“You look at what’s happening in the country and how this is affecting people health wise and the pressure that is on the NHS.

“To lose a small percentage of your wages is a small sacrifice to make.”

Maamria can check in with his players but is not allowed to formally ‘manage’ them during this period.

He has confidence however that his squad will keep themselves sharp during football’s shutdown, the EFL announcing last week that they have suspended the competition indefinitely.

“When we first stopped I was in contact with the players regularly,” said the Latics boss.

“I gave them programmes to follow, they posted their GPS stats, their times and things like that and we were in contact all the time.

“But with the furlough situation, I spoke to the players and told them ‘you’ve got to keep up your programme’.

“All the staff are on furlough and we’re just waiting to see what happens with the players because they’ve got the situation with the PFA.

“When you are on furlough you are not allowed to do any work with the players or anyone at the football club.

“They are a good group, they are good professionals and I’m sure they will follow it through.”

A married father of two, Maamria’s time is now split between his family – his children aged six and four – and trying to make use of his spare time constructively.

That includes some personal development and trying to look ahead to next season, Latics 19th in the League Two table with nine games left to play of the delayed campaign.

As with large parts of the nation though, there’s also time to get stuck into Joe Wicks’ workouts which have become a staple of many homes while the country is on lockdown.

“I get up first thing in the morning, do the Joe Wicks thing with my kids, then home schooling for an hour or an hour-and-a-half and then I do some exercises before we have lunch together,” said Maamria, explaining a day in the life of a manager of furlough.

“We spend a bit of time together and then I grab an hour or two between two and four where I do a bit of work myself.

“I’m reviewing League Two seasons and looking at trends, things that teams do well when they win. I’m planning for next season and I’m trying to improve as a coach and as a manager as well.

“I attended an LMA seminar online so while some people might say they are bored my time is pretty full on.

“I’m trying to take the opportunity to do things that in the season you don’t find time to do.”