FILIPE Morais has hit out at Oldham’s “scandalous” treatment of some of their players as David Wheater’s exile from the first team continues.

The winger made 20 appearances on loan during his second spell with Latics last season before, he says, being told to stay at home in January.

The 34-year-old sat out the second half of the season and is now a free agent after leaving Crawley.

Morais watched on from afar as former team-mates Wheater and Gary Woods were told in September they would not be part of the first-team squad going forward, the pair having been in dispute with the club over proposed pay cuts around the Covid-19 pandemic.

Latics say those issues are resolved and in a statement last week insisted Wheater had been injured, his most recent issue a back problem sustained lifting his dog, while also criticising his decision to move his family back to his native Teesside.

It all comes as no surprise to Morais who has also revealed that he was warned off returning to Oldham when he came back in September 2019.

“Going into Oldham I knew what was going on,” he told The Buff podcast.

“I knew people at the club and I knew people who had been at the club previously and had had issues.

“I spoke to all of them and they told me to not go there to be honest. Everyone I spoke to said ‘don’t go’.

“But it was a great opportunity for me to be home and I felt I could go in there and help the club.

“I tried to do just that but then I was three games in and the manager got sacked and it was ‘here we go’.

“Straight away you start seeing things that aren’t right and you try and pass on some feedback and it just doesn’t get heard.

“Over time things just got worse and worse and worse, my situation got worse and on January 3 I was told to stay at home, just like Wheats is now staying at home.

“It’s like ‘what is going on?’. I’m getting stopped from playing football and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

“If a young player had been put in that position, I’m fearful for his mental health. It’s not easy, all you want to do is play football.

“Thankfully me and Wheats are experienced and I had good people around me and I’ve got a strong mentality to keep going training and I was able to train with other people.

“There was plenty when I was there where the same thing happened to players that people don’t know about. It was scandalous.”

Morais believes rather than becoming embroiled in a public dispute with their captain of last season, Latics should be using all of Wheater’s experience in a bid to get the club heading back in the right direction again.

“Anyone who knows David, he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, he’ll do anything for you, he’s not got a bad word to say about anyone and he’s in the situation he’s in,” said Morais, who also made 68 appearances for the club between 2010 and 2012.

“He’s the kind of person you should embrace into your club and maybe even ask their advice.

“If I had David Wheater at my club, I’d be asking about what he did at Bolton, what makes you tick, what makes you feel great, what makes you feel like you can go out and win and can we get that into the other players?

“I’d be trying to use those players.”

On his return, Morais insists he tried to see things from the point of view of owner Abdallah Lemsagam, but was soon disillusioned with what he encountered.

“Oldham is a club I’d been at before, that has good history and really good people involved in the club,” he said.  

“Being brutally honest, it’s just a totally different place to when I first went there.

“I want to say I’ve got sympathy for the owners because you do have to sometimes put yourself in their shoes and think, ‘I don’t know the culture here of this country’ or ‘I have got my own ways of doing things’.

“That’s understandable, everyone is different, and I always try and take that perspective on things.

“But then if I was them, I would be thinking, ‘who can I get around me that knows how people think here and knows how things work because I clearly am not making a good go of things at the moment’.

“They’ve got a relegation and then not been able to go back up and not had a great season. I would definitely be going back to the drawing board.

“But they don’t seem to be doing that and they keep making the same mistakes and that’s when you start not having a bit of sympathy.”

The Buff is a Bolton Wanderers podcast by The Bolton News. It's available on AppleSpotify and Soundcloud