HARRY Kewell felt Latics’ performance against Bournemouth was another good indicator of his side’s potential.

Oldham went down 4-1 in the FA Cup third round tie at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday but impressed in the first period before the Cherries’ class showed in the second half.

Being knocked out means all attentions are now on heading towards the sharp end of the League Two table with cup commitments over for another season.

Latics go into Wednesday night’s game with Mansfield at Boundary Park in 15th place and six points shy of the play-off places in a congested table. And Kewell is very much looking up.

“We’re still working, we’re still working on making this team stronger and we have our ideas of what we want to do to move this team forward,” the Latics boss said. 

“It’s going to take time. We’ll sit here and we’ll look at games and figure out what the best way to play is.

“The first half performance was excellent and then we let in a silly goal to make it 2-1 and then our backs were against the wall.

“There’s loads to play for between now and the end of the season.

“When you play against a team like this it’s a good opportunity to see how far you’ve come.

“I think we can look back and see a lot of positive moments, positive movements, positive player performances and I think that’s the important thing.

“If we can do that then we’re making strides forward. If we didn’t have that then we’d be struggling.”

Latics created plenty of chances in the first 45 minutes against the Championship high-fliers, who had made wholesale changes from their last league outing.

With the game tied at 1-1 at the break, the Cherries moved through the gears in the second half to ensure their passage into round four but Kewell left the south coast feeling his players would be better for the experience as the focus quickly turns to the midweek meeting with the Stags.

“You could see that we caused them problems because they had to bring their stars on to finish us off,” he said.

“I’m disappointed that we lost but I’m happy with the performance and proud of the way they performed.

“It was always going to be difficult coming down to Bournemouth and playing in a great stadium on a great pitch. It was always going to be difficult on a pitch like this.

“I know we didn’t create as much in the second half but I don’t think the scoreline reflects the game.

“People will look at 4-1 and think we got battered but if you look closely at it we more than held our own.

“It’s something to learn from.”