KEITH Curle has praised his players’ team ethic in working through their rough patch.

It was not until his fifth game in charge that Latics secured his first win, and they then went on to suffer back-to-back defeats before recovering to celebrate a convincing 4-1 win at Crawley Town on Easter Monday.

And Curle is pleased with the way they have stuck to their task with a positive mindset, and taken on board his instructions.

“Credit to the group. Even with the recent results we’ve had they’ve taken the positives out of it,” he said.

“The players have trained well and they’ve kept a positive mentality.

“They’re picking up ideas of what we want to try and do.

“We’re trying to play to their strengths, identifying movement patterns that give the opposition problems.”

Latics were clinical against Crawley to secure their biggest league win of the season, and Curle was particularly encouraged by the second goal, which started from Laurie Walker’s goal kick before Cameron Borthwick-Jackson applied the finish.

“The pleasing goal is the one from the goalkeeper up to the centre forward and flicked on. They’re trying to play out because they know we can be a threat and for them to do that they need to push players forward.

“We then need to identify that’s the time to bypass it, make the first contact and we get an opportunity for a goal.

“You know then the players are listening, taking things on board.

“Laurie’s important in that, and important in playing out.

“He’s bitterly disappointed (with the goal conceded) because goalkeepers, defenders, pride themselves on clean sheets.

“It’s a team game though and as a team we should have come out of it with a clean sheet.”

On the whole Curle is pleased with the progress they are making since he took charge last month, but remains mindful of where he feels there is need for improvement.

“It’s roles and responsibilities and being accountable for what your job is,” he said.

“There’s times when we’ve got possession where I want to be a good, attacking team. We can still get our centre backs joining in more, our ball retention needs to be a little bit crisper in the final third but overall I was really pleased (against Crawley).”