KEITH Curle says Latics must be mathematically safe before there are any discussions about his future at Boundary Park.

The former Carlisle and Northampton boss agreed a deal until the end of the season when he was appointed head coach last month.

Last week Curle indicated his desire to stay longer term. But, with Latics 12 points clear of the bottom two with 18 to play for ahead of tomorrow night’s home game with struggling Colchester (kick-off 7pm), the 57-year-old insists it is a case of ‘safety first’.

“The important thing is we need to get mathematically safe,” Curle told the Oldham Times when asked if there had been an opportunity to discuss his future with owner Abdallah Lemsagam.

“The first remit when I came in was that we had guaranteed league status for next season and then obviously when that’s mathematical it will be an opportunity to sit down.”

Latics moved a step closer to guaranteeing league football next season thanks to a convincing win at Crawley Town on Easter Monday.

Tomorrow they face a side with arguably a more urgent need for points than their own, but Curle is braced for the challenge.

“Colchester are in a position where they will have the same mindset as us, they will be looking to maintain league status and they will be fighting for their professional lives,” he said.

“It’s a massive contrast from where they were last season, competing to get in the play-offs.

“Having looked at their last couple of games you’re thinking ‘why are they down there?’, they shouldn’t be down there as a football club. Some of the individuals within that team, they’ve got some good experience, they’ve got some good young players, they’ve got some good energy.

“They’ve had a couple of changes of manager which doesn’t help throughout a season but they are the issues they’re dealing with, but players wise they shouldn’t be where they are.”

Curle is looking to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since being named as Harry Kewell’s successor a month ago, and could name the same team that fired four past Crawley in Latics’ biggest win of the season.

Dylan Bahamboula was restored to the line-up following his spell away on international duty with Congo, and responded with a stoppage-time goal to wrap up a 4-1 win.

“He’s come back quite refreshed, he’s got over the travelling and it was good for him to get back in the team and get a performance out of him and also a goal,” said Curle, who added that the spirit in the camp was a whole was buoyant on the back of Monday’s result.

“It’s very good, they’re very pleased with the performance and obviously the result.”