SELIM Benachour believes their goalless draw with Barrow provides a solid platform to build on in the New Year.

Latics signed off 2021 with a clean sheet and point at Holker Street. And the interim head coach said he was pleased with how the players responded to a Boxing Day defeat that sent them to the bottom of League Two, and believes it bodes well for the fight ahead.

"We need to work with this point," said Benachour.

"Barrow is a good team, we studied them and it's a really good team.

"I liked the solidity of the team today. This is the key to the result tonight. This kind of game and mindset and desire and this kind of fighting spirit, winning challenges and second balls. Are we capable of doing it? Yes, today we see it.

"I think we need to work on that spirit and things will go in the right direction.

"A point is a point and now we go to Hartlepool and keep a clean sheet, we need to be solid, and we will score. We have players on the bench who can come on and change the game."

Benachour made five changes to the team which lost to Scunthorpe three days ago, including three alterations to the back four, while youngsters Benny Couto and Harry Vaughan were dropped to the bench.

"Sometimes I need to protect my young players. They play well but we play every three days so I don't want to burn them out," Benachour explained.

"I protect them, they are 17 so they need some time on the bench and come on for the last 20 or half an hour to change the game.

"Today it was not a game for Harry, but I think the players who played gave me a good answer, like (Raphael) Diarra, he was solid and helped the team in the middle, Harrison (McGahey) was also very good at the back.

"Everyone has their chance to play and we play in three days so I will need everybody."

Asked whether he welcomed the busy festive period, Benachour added: "It's good. We don't have too much time for training but we have adrenaline.

"We will rest well, have some recovery time and be ready for Saturday."