KEITH Curle hopes he has bolstered his chances of being handed the head coach role at Latics on a more permanent basis.

The former Carlisle and Northampton boss was appointed as Harry Kewell's successor last month on a short-term deal, with the remit of guaranteeing League football as a starting point.

Latics were never really in danger of getting sucked into a League Two relegation battle, despite some indifferent form this season and the worst home record in the club's history, with 13 league defeats at Boundary Park.

But Tuesday night's 3-0 win at Harrogate Town - the first time they had combined a win and a clean sheet in Curle's 11 games in charge - made them mathematically safe.

Attentions are now expected to turn to next season, with Curle set for discussions with the Lemsagam brothers - owner Abdallah and sporting director Mohamed - regarding his future.

And the 57-year-old believes he has done enough, both on and off the pitch, to be given a shot at the job longer term.

“I think I’ve put myself in a better position for conversations with the owners of the football club," said Curle. “If they’re happy and they’re pleased with not only the results but the style of play and also the culture and environment that we’re trying to create."

After Kewell became the seventh manager to depart Boundary Park since the change in ownership in 2018, and the 15th in six years, Latics are craving stability.

But until any decisions are made on the head coach role, Curle's focus is on the last three games of the season and a strong finish regardless.

"It's all right saying we're a forward thinking football club, we want to play open expansive football and this is a good place to come to, we need to back it up with results," he said.

"That's why we're saying finish the season well, finish the season and be proud of the performances individually that we're putting in. That's not only players but coaching staff as well."