SIMPLICITY has made Alfie McCalmont a star performer for Latics, according to head coach Keith Curle.

Although slight of stature, at around 5ft 6 and weighing in at less than 10 stone, the 22-year-old is having a heavyweight impact in recent games, with three goals in his last four starts.

His superb volley against Exeter City was arguably his best of his recent crop, and proved decisive in earning Curle his first win in charge of Latics last week, while his goal at Scunthorpe the previous week was vital in earning a point.

And Curle insists it is not necessary to be a marauding midfielder to be influential in that area of the pitch.

“One thing I’d probably say with Alfie is he respects the simplicity of his game,” said the Boundary Park boss.

“He does the simple things well, as does Callum Whelan.

“People say you need to be combative, you need to be aggressive, you need to have a physicality about you to play in midfield. I don’t think so if you do the simple things well, move the ball quickly, consistently and have direction in your play then I don’t really think size is important.”

And Curle believes that if the same approach of doing the basics right was applied throughout the team, they would reap the benefits both in terms of their performance and their professionalism.

“I go back to the mindset of the players is you’ve got to respect the simplicity of what your job is and do the simple things well,” said the head coach.

“You’ll then find the more simple you think it is, the more enjoyable the game is.

“The picture you’re seeing is easy to understand and if you start trying to complicate it by looking one way and passing the other, trying to get nutmegs, trying to be cheeky, crafty and not doing what’s needed to be done, you get found out.

“Do the right things at the right time when it needs doing how it needs doing and you’ll find you have longevity in your career."