KEITH Curle is confident his players have got what it takes to turn their season around.

Latics climbed off the bottom of League Two, despite a seventh defeat in 10 games, by virtue of goal difference following Scunthorpe United’s 3-0 defeat at Newport County.

They face a crunch clash at Mansfield this weekend, with the Stags just two points above them in the table.

Latics have been ravaged by injury, with head coach Curle not yet able to field the starting XI that he had in mind after a summer rebuilding process.

But with players slowly returning to fitness, Curle sees light at the end of the tunnel - and hope in a congested table.

“People were saying we’ve had a disastrous start to the season but before a ball was kicked (on Saturday) we were seven points off the play-off places,” he said.

“Other teams will spend time at the bottom of the league and it’s how they handle that.

“It’s not nice, but use it as a motivation because you’ve got to have a plan of where you want to get to and you’ve got to take it step by step.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and then you take a step forward again.”

Curle hoped his side had turned a corner with an important derby win over Rochdale at the end of September.

They were back to square one as their poor run of form continued, with defeat to Harrogate their 19th at Boundary Park in the league since the start of last season.

But despite younger players learning on the job - thrown in at the deep end because of the club’s injury crisis - Curle feels it is only a matter of time before they start climbing the table.

“I know where we are at and I know the mentality of the players and I know the ability of the players we are dealing with,” said the Latics’ head coach.

“I think we’ve got a learning and developing environment - a young environment with a sprinkling of experience that at the minute is not on the pitch.

“But overall there’s more than enough in that changing room to get into the top half of the table.”