OLDHAM Athletic turned down a transfer deadline day bid for captain Carl Piergianni from Mansfield Town.

The Stags had been looking to bolster their backline after conceding in each of their opening League Two games. And manager Nigel Clough earmarked the Latics’ centre half as a target.

But their offer was immediately rejected, with head coach Keith Curle seeing the 29-year-old as key to his plans at Boundary Park.

And Piergianni, who triggered the comeback for a first league win of the season at Sutton United, followed on from Saturday’s performance to score against former club Salford City as Latics kicked off their Papa John’s Trophy schedule with a 1-0 win.

“The club had an enquiry for Pidge and it’s been refused,” said Curle, who revealed he kept his skipper fully briefed on developments.

“I spoke to him when I got to the stadium and it wasn’t a secret amongst us.

“I’ve had dialogue with Pidge’s agent and Pidge and told him he was needed (at Oldham).

“I told him ‘you’re part of how I see the immediate future taking shape’.

“I think there have been times before where decisions have to be made and how I operate is I don’t shy away from the truth.

“I said ‘Pidge, we’ve had an enquiry, it’s a no. I spoke to your agent and told him it’s a no’.

“I think if you deal with players like that there’s no hidden agenda.”

Piergianni responded by scoring a 44th minute winner against Salford.

“That’s the relationship that I have with players, that honesty. If I honestly thought I’d Pidge wasn’t able to go out and perform I wouldn’t pick him,” said Curle.

“That shows the strength of character for Pidge that a club’s come in, made a bid and we’ve turned it down and said ‘no’. Business as usual.”

And while Latics benefited from Piergianni’s experience, Academy starlet Benny Couto also had an impact on his senior debut, after just one training session with the first team.

“I saw enough to say he’d be playing. I thought the lad did well as well,” said Curle, who was without Dylan Bahamboula because of international duty with Congo.