KEITH Curle has warned there is no place for perpetually underperforming players in his squad.

The Latics head coach said he wanted players to learn from their mistakes, respond to direction and improve, and not continually be holding their hand up in apology.

Curle felt there was too much of the latter in Saturday’s disappointing 4-3 defeat to Morecambe.

Although Oldham showed plenty of fighting spirit to claw their way back into a game that had run away from them, trailing 4-1 up to the 78th minute when they gave the promotion-chasing Shrimps a scare, he felt all the goals they conceded could have been avoided.

The first came from a defensive mix-up to hand Morecambe an early head-start through top scorer Carlos Mendes Gomes.

Latics worked hard to get back into the game and Conor McAleny equalised with his 20th goal of the season.

But Curle felt they took their foot off the gas and were the architects of their own downfall from there, with Aaron Wildig and Cole Stockton scoring twice in four minutes before the break.

Mendes Gomes grabbed a stylish second early in the second half, before Latics staged a late fightback.

And although Curle said there were positives to take, including George Blackwood making his comeback from injury from the bench and another cameo for teenager Harry Vaughan, the negatives niggled away at him.

“There’s always a positive that you can take out of it, but as I said to the players ‘don’t hide behind that positive’ because at the end of the day we scored three goals but we got beat,” said Curle.

“That’s unfortunately I think the acceptance in the football club.

“Sometimes we hide behind ‘yes, we can score goals’, but we’re letting goals in and it’s too easy to score goals against us. Too many people are putting their hand up, we need to get rid of that and get people who do (as instructed).

“Whether it’s experience or time in the game, one of the things I’ve bought into myself within coaching and training players is ultimately you’re trying to improve players and, not so much change players, but what I have found out is that if you can’t change players for the better, change players.

“When you lose, you’ve got to learn.

"Sometimes players start believing their hype and sometimes players start believing they're very good players but good players have got a habit of doing the basics right. You don't see that many good players continually putting their hand up saying 'sorry'," he continued.

"Good players do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it needs to be done. It's getting that understanding of what you're good at as a player and continually doing it.

"You win as a team, lose as a team. It is a squad game. I don't think today we gave a true representation of what we're trying to achieve at the football club.

"You can say you came away from home and scored three goals. I think sometimes you can hide behind that and it's a mask.

"The goals that we gave away were poor and they could have been stopped."

With a quick turnaround for tomorrow night’s game at Harrogate Town, Curle added: “Every game we play there are going to be different things we can improve on, that won’t change. The analysis of the game won’t change. We’ll take out the positives and show the players the positives we can take out of it and areas that we need to improve and then it’s on to the next game.”