KEITH Curle has assured Latics fans that his injured forwards are all working hard to get back before the end of the season and bolster Oldham’s firepower.

While Latics struggled for consistency of results under Harry Kewell, leading to the Australian’s dismissal earlier this month, they were among the division’s top scorers with 49 goals on the Australian’s watch.

Their attacking style came at a price at the other end, however, and resulted in the leakiest League Two defence with 56 goals conceded during Kewell’s 32 games in charge.

Curle has worked hard to shore up the defence since his appointment as head coach three weeks ago, resulting in two goalless draws.

But as a consequence they have not been as free scoring and are averaging a goal a game under the former Carlisle United and Northampton Town boss, compared to over 1.5 goals per game previously.

Latics have also been hampered by injuries to striker Zak Dearnley, who has been sidelined since mid-January, and George Blackwood and Marcus Barnes have been out for just over a month, while Bobby Grant and Serhat Tasdemir were missing from the squad at Leyton Orient on Saturday.

Curle has worked with a front three in a 3-4-2-1 come 3-4-3 formation since taking charge three weeks ago, so the injuries have left his attacking options down to the bare bones.

But he is hopeful of having a greater ammunition in the final few weeks of the season.

“It would be nice to have more attacking options but I can assure you the attacking options who are unavailable at the minute are working hard trying to get themselves back fit and involved because they want to play,” said Curle.

“They’ve seen there’s a structure in place that has got room for all of them to play in.

“They’ve all got pace, they’ve all got ability, they can all score goals and this is a team with a forward-thinking mentality and those forward players will want to be involved in that.”

But while Curle has worked with a front three in his opening games in charge, he insists he is not rigid with his framework.

“I said when I arrived I’m not a manager or coach who walks in with a system and formation and players have to fit into that,” he said.

“I’m experienced enough to know that my role is to get the best out of the players individually and collectively to give them a platform to express themselves.

“At the minute 3-4-3 gives us a decent foundation. People can get lost in formations, people can get hung up in formations.

“In possession, can we get a structure where we’re an attacking threat? Out of possession and on transition, are we able to defend our goal?”