KEITH Curle has warned Latics’ players the onus is on them to get fans out of their seats when they return to Boundary Park.

The head coach, yet to formally confirm he is staying on next season, has been less than impressed with some of his side’s performances at the tail end of a campaign that ended with a 3-0 home defeat against a Forest Green Rovers side heading for the play-offs.

A feature of an 18th-placed finish in League Two this season has been Oldham’s largely awful form on home soil, tasting 15 defeats in all at Boundary Park.

With fans set to return next season as Covid restrictions continue to ease, Curle insists it will not be the job of the fans to lift the players, but the other way around.

“As a professional it’s been horrible,” he said when asked about a whole season being played out in empty stadiums.

“This football club needs supporters back in. And the players owe it to them to get them bouncing, it’s not the other way round.

“The supporters don’t need to lift to changing room, the changing room needs to lift the supporters.

“We need to give them something to shout about, and that’s with hard work, energy, endeavour, bravery, that’s got to be apparent.”

The return of supporters can, of course, go one of two ways, and Curle believes some players need to be ready for the pressure that comes with noise from the terraces, and that supporter adulation is far from a foregone conclusion.

It all comes in the context of increasing unrest with the club’s ownership.

“The changing room is consistently letting down the football club,” he added having overseen 14 games since replacing Harry Kewell.

“It’s not good enough. Nowhere near good enough.

“Away from home I think we’re fifth in the league, home form second from bottom.

“If you get 4,500-6,000 Oldham fans they are going to let you know if you don’t put it in.

“Some of our players had better start wearing ear plugs if they are still here next year.”

Curle was meeting with his squad individually yesterday to outline their immediate futures, the first of his post-season tasks.

While it is not clear what the next step is for the head coach himself, he has made it clear that taking an active role in the released and retained list was only right given he has been in post since March.

Despite coming through a season like no other, the former Manchester City manager admits he is not a man who enjoys his downtime.

“I’m going to be bored stiff for the next three months,” he said.

“I’m a competitor, I like playing games, I like training for games, I like creating environments and I like being around professional people.”