LATICS boss Harry Kewell is encouraged by the competition for places he has in the final third.

Danny Rowe made it three in his last three appearances on Tuesday night as Oldham secured their progress to the next stage of the EFL Trophy with a 2-0 win over Doncaster.

Zak Dearnley’s first of the season completed victory on a night where Conor McAleny, who has five in his last three outings, was an unused substitute as he got the night off after his double in the 3-3 draw at Colchester on Saturday.

It left Kewell relishing the choices he has up top with Morecambe the visitors to Boundary Park in League Two on Saturday.

“The correct thing to do is to have challenges,” said the Latics head coach.

“Competition means that if you do stuff up you know you’re not going to be in the team.

“The players have always done the right things and we’ve had to change things around because of a couple of injuries but it’s great to see Zak coming back in and it’s great for Danny as well.

“I think he led the line well. It’s tough, we’re trying to play a different way to what he’s used to and I think he’s adapting to it.

“I’m so happy he got on the scoresheet though.

“I felt he could have had one or two in the first half when he could have let loose and he knows that, so he was eager to score and it was a great free-kick in the end.”

Kewell believes the win over League One Rovers, irrespective of the competition, is a sign that his side, who picked up their first league point of the season on Saturday, are heading in the right direction.

“We’re building a foundation, we building the blocks to make it stronger and better and each game I’m seeing slight improvements,” he said.

“Yeah, we dip off every now and then but that’s normal.

“You’ve got to have a reaction when that happens and we got that second half at Colchester and Tuesday was a fantastic performance.

“Every player worked well, defended well, the movement was good, the pressure was good. We were a bit sloppy at times when we gave the ball away but it’s a work in progress.

“Now we have to continue it. We’ve got a tough game against Morecambe and we’re looking forward to that challenge.”