LIAM Hogan believes recruiting leaders will be key to helping Oldham Athletic have a successful journey back to the Football League.

The defender was unveiled as Latics’ first signing last week, with his promotion pedigree an attractive prospect for the club after exiting the EFL for the first time in 115 years.

Hogan went up with hometown club Salford City via the National League play-offs in 2019, going on to win the title and automatic promotion with Stockport County at the end of last season.

The 33-year-old was captain on both occasions. But he says it will need a dressing room of leaders if Latics are to follow the promotion path that he has trodden twice before and avoid lingering in non-league.

“The more that we can get that have that leadership role and leadership qualities in terms of driving standards, train as you play, making sure the margins for error are at a minimum in terms of getting basics right on a day to day basis and working hard and being willing to learn and learn about new teams and new situations that we’re going to come up against. I’ve been lucky at the some time to be in some very good dressing rooms that have been built up of quite local lads who have got on really well off the pitch as well as on the pitch, which I think is vital, I think that gets you an extra few points a season.

“There’s been a lot of chat this season about teams who under achieve in this league because they’ve got a great dressing room and a great togetherness and these sorts of sides are near the top end of this league. I think for us to generate that from a very good pre-season and hopefully some early good results at the beginning of the season will marry that all together again.”

Hogan believes Latics can benefit from a blend of old and new faces too, with head coach Sheridan building a new-look squad following the release of 13 players, including captain Carl Piergianni, who has signed for Stevenage, and top scorer Davis Keillor-Dunn, who is expected to sign for a League club this summer after attracting a lot of interest in his 17-goal season.

“The boys that have been here will want to put disappointment behind them, the new lads that come in are going to want to hit the ground running and make a positive image of what they’re going to be about for the duration of time that they’re here,” said Hogan.

“I think there’s a lot that we can still be really positive about and it’s one of those moments where you sign and want to get going the next day.

“There will be work to do but as a player I’ve experienced those times of teams coming out of the league and those moments happen to make you as a player and a club stronger. I’ve had some really really high moments at this level and hopefully I can share one here.”