Harry Kewell insists his Oldham players are up for the fight after slipping to a third straight League Two defeat against Crawley.

The visitors ran out 3-2 winners at Boundary Park leaving the Latics head coach frustrated by a number of missed chances.

A first-half header from Danny Rowe had put Latics in front but goals from Ashley Nadesan, George Francomb and Tom Nichols helped the visitors to victory before Conor McAleny pulled one back late on.

And after seeing limited results from a series of chances throughout the game, Kewell admitted that although he is seeing some improvement generally from his side, they still need to work harder to win games.

“It would’ve been nice to get something out of the game but we didn’t so we have to keep working harder keep believing in it and no-one said that this was going to be easy,” said the 42-year-old.

“I believe the boys are ready for the fight, we’ve just got to show a little more aggression when we go out there.

“We want more from the strikers, more from the wide players and we were unlucky in the first half with the one that didn’t cross the line - all you can do is keep working.

“I’ve been here before, I know what people are feeling but the only way to get out of it is to stick together.

“It was (always) going to take time, it’s one of those things that hurts at the moment but hopefully, we can get through it.”

One positive the Latics boss did take from the defeat, however, was the performances of both midfielder Alfie McCalmont and forward George Blackwood, who both made their debuts.

McCalmont, 20, who has signed on a season-long loan deal from one of Kewell’s former clubs Leeds United, managed 90 minutes after signing for the club on Friday while Australian Blackwood entered the fray as a half-time substitute.

“I thought Alfie was comfortable, he was aggressive, he got the ball down and it was a good game for him,” he added.

“It was a nice opening game for him to see what League Two is about and I’m sure with his ability he will kick on and be a fantastic player for us.

“George, I felt, kind of changed the game for us - we just need to get him a little more match fit.

“He was lively on his touches and positive on his movement, so I was impressed with his performance.”