KEITH Curle has challenged his Latics side to keep finding ways to win, and build on his first success at the Boundary Park helm.

Oldham head to Leyton Orient tomorrow (3pm) buoyant after fending off a fightback from Exeter City to earn a first win in seven games, and only a fifth home victory this season.

Curle acknowledged that it was not a footballing spectacle against the Grecians, but one where they had to dig in.

But as he prepares for a different challenge in the capital this weekend, the head coach has urged his players to put Tuesday’s performance, and points, to good use. “It typified some of the qualities that are needed to win a game of football,” said Curle of the midweek win.

“It’s not always about sometimes trying to dismantle a team and dominate a team with the ball, playing in between the lines, playing in pockets. Sometimes as a team you need to have a structure that you can dig in sometimes as well, and I thought we showed little bits of what’s needed to win a game of football, and I think the lads enjoyed it as well.

“In possession of the ball it wasn’t the prettiest of games but we knew we were playing against a good team that have got a good foundation that year in, year out they’re always up in and around the play-offs and they know what the formula is to be competing to get out of this division so we knew we were going to be in for a test, even more so then being on the back of two defeats we knew they were going to be determined to break their run so we had to be right in everything that we did, in possession and out of possession.

“I think the emphasis on us being in the right place at the right time out of possession paid dividends.

“Sometimes in the second half it wasn’t pretty but we had a foundation to build from and I think that’s vitally important.”

And Curle has encouraged Latics to use the feelgood factor from Tuesday’s win to their advantage.

“I said to the players after the game, there’s no better feeling as a professional footballer coming in after a game knowing that you’ve earned the result, and it’s priceless. It’s a feeling that money can’t buy,” explained the former Manchester City defender.

“It doesn’t make you a winner if you enjoy that feeling more than when you get beat, that doesn’t make you a winner.

“A winner is somebody that does what needs to be done to maintain that feeling, which means you have to go the extra yard, you have to find that extra yard within yourselves when the going gets tough. I think on Tuesday night the players found that extra yard and they’ve identified the rewards are there when collectively you all do what needs to be done.

“The players worked extremely hard on Tuesday, they enjoyed working hard. Good players, good teams accept challenges of working hard as a minimum.”