KEITH Curle insists there is plenty on the line for Latics’ players in the closing weeks of the campaign – most notably their own futures.

The Oldham boss saw his side put together the best performance of his time in charge as they ran out dominant 4-1 winners at Crawley Town on Easter

Monday. But with six games of the campaign remaining, starting against Colchester at Boundary Park on Friday night, Latics are in 17th place in League Two, 13 points above the bottom two and 12 shy of the play-off places.

For Curle though, players should be mindful about what is to come after May 8.

Carl Piergianni, Nicky Adams, Davis Keillor-Dunn and Dylan Bahamboula are among the players under contract for next season but a significant number of the squad will be free agents in the summer.

“The players are now playing for their futures,” Curle said.

“It’s important that with the game time that they get they are industrious and show not only me but potential other suitors who may be watching that they deserve an opportunity, have versatility and what they can add to different positions.”

The Latics boss had demanded a reaction from his side after back-to-back defeats against Leyton Orient and Stevenage followed his first win in charge against Exeter.

Curle is pleased with how his players are trying to take on board what he says though, as evidenced by the Crawley performance, and points to the relative inexperience he has inherited when replacing Harry Kewell a month ago.

“The players do care and they want to do well,” he said.

“I’m not a massive believer in stats but stats do sometimes tell you a story and against Stevenage we had just over 700 league appearances in our starting XI and something like 450 of those were made up by Nicky Adams.

“I think Stevenage were well beyond 2,000.

“Gaining that little bit of experience and having that little bit of experience in the squad will help but we’ve got some fledging players in who are just starting off their careers and the best place for them to learn is on the pitch.

“The last couple of weeks has been a learning curve for them.”

Latics’ build-up for Friday night’s meeting with Colchester includes a training ground game against a Burnley XI today.

Curle continues to battle a lengthy injury list with no out-and-out attacking option on the bench at Crawley on Monday.

He said: “We’ve got a reserve game against Burnley on Wednesday.

“It’s another opportunity for some players coming back from injury to get some game time and for some of the players that appeared on Monday it’s a chance to get some game time.”