KEITH Curle has made it his mission to not just improve Latics on the pitch, but foster relationships off it too.

There has been growing discontent and disillusionment among supporters towards owner Abdallah Lemsagam and his sporting director brother, Mo, during their three years with Oldham.

That led to a drop-off in supporters before the pandemic, and there a growing fears that even more will not return when turnstiles are allowed to re-open next season after a campaign behind closed doors.

Curle has yet to take charge of a Latics game with fans present. But he is keen to engage with them as soon as he is able to, in order for them to get to know him as a person as well as the head coach, but also to bridge the divide between the club and the fans.

"I can't wait to get supporters back in,” said Curle.

"They need to get to know me so we're trying to organise a fans' forum.

“I will make myself available and go and meet supporters. I'm open, honest, transparent.

"Ask me a question and I'll give you an answer. Ask me a silly question I'll give you a silly answer. I have a sense of humour, I've got a bit of banter about me.”

Curle knows it will take more than any form of meet-and-greet to settle any differences and disputes. But he hopes his longer term appointment can be a fresh start for the club.

"I don't shy away from the reality. I know there's been history at the football club that some supporters aren't happy with,” he said.

“I can't do anything about that. What's gone on previously has got no affect on me going forward.

“All I can say is I'm coming in I've got my ideas, I want to work with people and I want the football club to be progressive and create an upward curve. I want to create a wave and I want to be a part of the success that I think this football club can get.”

He added: “Every time I've come here as a player, as a coach or as a manager I've been impressed with the supporters backing their team. We need to get back to that very quickly.”

The scale of the task ahead was underlined by fans' group Push The Boundary's open letter to Abdallah Lemsagam calling for him to sell the club.

More than 1,500 signed the petition attached to the letter within the first 24 hours, and the total had reached 2,976 by the June 1 deadline.

PTB have given the Latics owner until June 9 to respond, saying in a statement last week: "We do not expect a response from the owner but we would hope that a response would be forthcoming to the lifelong and loyal Latics supporters, who deserve so much better than the current ownership.

"The determination of supporters wanting change will only continue to grow."