SAM Hart hopes Latics' dramatic comeback win will be a "a moment of change" for the club.

Oldham have endured a tough start to the season, with their struggles at the bottom of League Two hampered by an extensive injury list.

But with players, including the influential Hart, back fit and back on the pitch, there is competition for places for the first time this season.

And Hart believes that growing strength in depth was a factor in their fightback against high flying Port Vale, as they twice came back from behind to secure only their second home league win of the season.

"It was amazing. The boys showed a real enthusiasm to get back in that game," said Hart, who scored Latics' second equaliser and had the shot which Aaron Martin headed past his own goalkeeper in stoppage time.

"It felt massive, especially the way we did it.

"Obviously we went down twice and it just shows the belief that we've got in this squad with everyone coming back that we can kick on now."

And Hart, who celebrated his goal and the winner with Keith Curle and the club's backroom staff, paid tribute to the head coach for the way in which he has helped to maintain the squad's focus through difficult circumstances, and their belief.

"It's been difficult with all the injuries we've had but the manager has come in every day with a positive mindset and hopefully this is the moment of change," said the defender, who started his first game in 12 weeks after recovering from a severe hamstring injury.

"We're all behind him and we're excited for what goes on now.

"The character in the squad is amazing. The manager has been touching on it a lot recently. We have a really good team and it just takes that little click really, and it clicked (on Saturday).

"It was just amazing for us all, for the staff, for the manager. We've all put in so many hours and we just need to kick on now."

Hart's goal was only the second of his career - his last being on loan with Port Vale from Liverpool in October 2016, in his first season.

"I just saw it drop to me and I had a touch, and I thought there were too many bodies on the line so I had to put it in the air a little bit," he explained.

"I did that and as soon as I saw it in the net I just thought I'd go to the manager because I've been out for 10 weeks and he's been great with me, the whole staff have to be fair, they've all kept behind me because obviously I was down over those 10 weeks.

"It was an amazing moment for the whole club, the fans went off, it was a great feeling."

And the 25-year-old paid tribute to the role Latics' fans, in the biggest crowd of the season, played in the win.

"They roared us on. When the second goal went in and then the third goal it was carnage," Hart beamed.

"It was amazing but they deserve something because it's been tough recently. We're all here as one and we're all here for the fight."