HARRY Kewell insists Latics will ultimately get it right at the back.

Oldham head into tomorrow night’s game at Forest Green having conceded the joint-highest number of goals in League Two this season, only bottom side Grimsby matching the 46 shipped by the Latics backline.

Kewell’s men are 15th in the table though owing to the 41 goals they have scored, placing them third in the division behind Exeter, 48, and leaders Cambridge, 44.

In terms of moving to the next stage, the area for improvement is therefore a clear one, at least on paper.

But Kewell maintains that, especially given the free-flowing attacking style he has implemented during his time at Boundary Park, fans may have to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to goals against.

“For me you’re always going to concede in League Two,” he told Trust Oldham’s Q&A.

“You try to limit that but unfortunately, at the moment we are conceding one or two too many goals.

“It’s football and you do try to stop it and I’d like to sit there and have clean sheets but I think it’s a rarity in League Two.

“We’re playing a way where we may have to score more goals than the opposition to win games.

“It’s exciting and don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to go behind, I like to score and have a relaxing afternoon but at the moment we’re not doing that, we’re conceding goals and then we step up.

Oldham Athletic manager Harry Kewell gestures on the touchline during the Sky Bet League Two match at the Abbey Stadium, Cambridge..

Oldham Athletic manager Harry Kewell gestures on the touchline during the Sky Bet League Two match at the Abbey Stadium, Cambridge..

“We have some great defenders, I love my defenders, they work very hard, they’re very intelligent, they want to understand it.

“We have meetings all the time, we’re on the pitch every day, making sure everybody knows their position but unfortunately there’s some talented players out there and for as much as you do the defensive side of it, it takes that little bit of genius to score goals.

“At the moment we are struggling on that defensive side but we’re all working very hard to make it right and we’ll get there in the end.”

Despite David Wheater continuing to be sidelined, Kewell insists he is well stocked at the back.

Captain Carl Piergianni, recently dropped to the bench, Harry Clarke, Sido Jombati, Kyle Jameson and Raphael Diarra are all options at the heart of the defence and the Latics boss believes it is unrealistic to expect the same pair to play week in, week out, and for things to be rock solid given how the squad was assembled.

“I have five centre halves trying to compete for two positions,” Kewell said.

“There’s a big thing about consistency in the back four and getting those connections but then you’ve got to deal with injuries and we’re not playing one game a week, especially this year.

“We’re about to head into a hectic Saturday-Tuesday schedule and I think it’s a bit unfair and a bit unrealistic, even though they are fit professionals, to expect them to play all these games. The other thing people have got to understand is that this team’s only been put together this year, I started with eight players.

“Did we get all the players right at the start? No, probably not 100 per cent but 80-90 per cent have made that connection.

“Now we’ve just got to fill in the gaps, maybe let one or two go, bring one or two others in and get that connection right.

“I might sound like a broken record but this is still a very young team.

“A young team with a new coach who has come in with different ideas, a different structure.”

As well as goals for and against, another contrast across the season has been Latics’ home and away form.

Kewell’s side have won their last two at Boundary Park but have largely struggled to pick up points on home soil this season.

“Maybe it’s the fans, maybe we need them and it’s as simple as that,” the Latics boss said.

“When you look at our home form, maybe take three or four games out where we have been poor, the majority of time we’ve been very good and when we’ve got on top of teams maybe you just need that little kickstart, that little bit more of a momentum push.

“That’s where I’ve heard the 12th man kicks in at Boundary Park.

“Maybe if we had that the intimidation to scare opponents we would be there.

"If you look at the whole picture of football teams are going to Old Trafford, Anfield, the Emirates, Stamford Bridge and not being affected and getting results.

“This is not just happening in League Two, it’s happening all over the place.

“It just shows you how important fans are because teams travel away and they’ve got no-one on top of them so it's 'I’m going to go out there and enjoy my football'. If this home form and away form continues when the fans come in then maybe we need to have a look at it, but to me it’s a trend in football at the moment.”