HANDING a two-year deal to Keith Curle is a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go if Latics want to be able to compete in the division.

Curle had definitely left an impression on the players by the end of the season and his realism was a welcome change to see.

He was clear in the fact that the players were not of a high enough standard to compete in League Two and that it needed to change – hopefully it now does.

The new boss now has a first transfer window to work towards and will be looking to recruit to be at the right end of the division.

Previous windows have been poor under the new sporting director and we need to see a change under a head coach whose principal aim will be getting Oldham out of the division.

He needs to be given the correct autonomy and backing by the hierarchy to allow him to recruit a team who can pose a challenge.

We know that this league isn’t the greatest – just look at how well Morecambe have done – but a competitive budget is still required to be able to progress.

And perhaps more importantly than being afforded support in the transfer window, he needs to be able to see out his deal.

It would be easy to regard a two-year contract as a statement of intent, but this is Oldham Athletic and things aren’t as simple.

He may have secured his future until the summer of 2023, but who knows if he will even see the other side of Christmas? Our track record with managers is abysmal and needs to change.

Curle seemingly has everything needed to be a success – proven, experienced and no-nonsense.

He has shown the highest nous of any of the recent head coaches and deserves to be able to see out the term that he has been given.

The prevailing feeling at the moment with Latics fans is apathy and that won’t be easy to change.

If we see clear improvements over the next couple of years then there is a slight chance that the current ownership could repair their broken relationships, but it will require a monumental turnaround for them to do so. Curle is the right man for the job and has showed promise with a squad that he clearly wasn’t pleased with. Let’s see how he does with his own team.