KEITH Curle praised his players' mentality in securing mathematical safety by combining a win with a clean sheet for the first time since he took charge.

Latics were never really in danger of getting sucked into a relegation battle, but the head coach was pleased to rubber-stamp Football League status for another year with last night's 3-0 win at Harrogate Town.

Alfie McCalmont opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick, Dylan Bahamboula struck in the first minute of the second half before George Blackwood came off the bench to complete the scoreline, which would have been even more comfortable had it not been for Harrogate goalkeeper Joe Cracknell pulling off two stunning saves to deny Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Conor McAleny.

"I thought the mentality within the group was very good because I gave them criticism, I put the demands on them that I felt they needed after the Morecambe fixture, and it was a good response," said Curle.

"If your mentality is wrong when you come here it can cause you problems.

"The surface does lend itself to playing percentage football, but we wanted to play and we had to be brave to play.

"Their man of the match was their goalkeeper. He made two great saves in the first half that I don't think he would have known a lot about but he had good positional (sense) and in the second half he saved from George Blackwood in a one-v-one.

"If the opposition goalkeeper's getting man of the match it shows we're doing something right."

Of achieving mathematical safety, Curle added: "The important thing is the next three games for the football club. You can gain momentum and start you off for next season.

"We want to make this club to be an attractive place for people to come to.

"When I first came in we wanted to start an upward curve and no matter what we say in the press or the local community that upward curve starts with the players buying in and then the results."