IAN Lawlor was pleased to hit back with an improved display against Tranmere after holding his hands up to errors in the defeat at Forest Green.

The Latics ‘keeper saved James Vaughan’s penalty with his legs at Prenton Park as 10-man Oldham picked up a point in the 2-2 draw.

It came just a few days after he came under fire for being part of a defensive unit that shipped four in Gloucestershire, taking Harry Kewell’s side to a half century of goals against this season.

Lawlor admits to being his own biggest critic and did not kid himself about the level of his performance at the New Lawn.

“I just want to give my all and keep my head down and when I’m called upon I just want to give the best account of myself and do the best for the team,” the Doncaster loanee said. 

“After Tuesday night I was disappointed with myself personally and I wanted to put it right, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge.

“I know I wasn’t good enough and thankfully I could right those wrongs.

“The fans are a massive part of things, even though they are not here with us.

"We still know they are looking after us, watching the games, we know they’re giving all their support.

“When it’s not going right and we’re putting in poor performances, like I did on Tuesday, I just wanted to repay that.”

Lawlor is well aware what public opinion was at full-time in midweek as Latics lost by the odd goal in seven, paying for errors at the back.

The Dubliner though insists he is doing all he can to work on his game and try and help Oldham up the League Two table, Kewell’s men 17th after the eventful draw at Prenton Park on Saturday.

“Everyone’s going to have their opinions whatever that may be and that’s fine, everyone’s entitled to them,” the 26-year-old said.

“I know what I am and I know what I can do.

“I try to improve every single day, I work with the goalkeeping coach, we do bundles of work, we study a lot, we speak when we’re not training, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into it and all I want to do is get better and better and come Saturday and Tuesdays do my best for the club.”

There have been ups and downs through his 34 appearances for the club thus far, with plenty more likely to come between now and when his loan spell concludes at the end of the season.

Lawlor believes all experiences good and bad will make him a better goalkeeper and a better person in the long run.

“It builds you to be a better person,” he said.

“I study a lot when I’ve gone wrong, and listen, I don’t take it for granted that I’ve done well today, I keep level-headed so I know there’s another game in two or three days.

“It’s done now, we’ve done the job, not just me but the whole team. It’s a good point and it gives us confidence.”

It many ways the Tranmere display summed up the roller-coaster that is following Kewell’s Latics.

They matched a team at the sharp end of League Two in a game that included four goals, a red card for Sido Jombati and a penalty save, the Irishman’s fourth of the season.

“It’s not something I want to become renowned for, saving penalties but it’s a big moment and you need to stand up and be counted,” he said. "It was pretty similar to Cambridge.

"I study all the penalty takers on a Friday night.

"I went through all the clips so I knew where he was going but he can have a tendency of changing so I wanted to go one way but leave a dangling leg out and hope for the best.”

At the other end, Lawlor had a great view of Dylan Bahamboula’s stunning strike that sealed a point for Latics out of nothing late in the piece.

“It was unbelievable, it was probably the best strike I’ve ever seen live,” he said. 

“Everyone knows what Mo can do, he’s got something special in him and if you give him time and space he will hurt you.

“He fully deserves the credit because he’s dug us out there.”

Bahamboula’s goal was one that left Lawlor’s opposite number Scott Davies with no chance and the goalkeepers’ union was in full force at the final whistle. 

“I know him from playing against him over the years, you get to know other keepers like that,” the Latics shot-stopper said.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for him I think he’s a great goalkeeper. He just said to me ‘well done on the penalty save’ and I said ‘he does that against me every day in training so don’t take it personally!’

“There’s a lot of respect there.”