IT may be a time for giving but Latics skipper Carl Piergianni wants his fellow defenders to be Scrooge-like this Christmas.

After tomorrow’s game at Crawley was postponed, Oldham are not back in action until a crunch home game against fellow strugglers Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day.

They will go into that after shipping five on home soil - albeit against League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers - last time out.

They have kept just one clean sheet in 11 matches and their last league shutout was in the goalless draw at Carlisle in October.

But Piergianni is confident as players return from injury to bolster the squad, the positive results will come.

And he has praised the togetherness in the camp ahead of a busy festive period.

He said: “We’ve played very well against Ipswich and Sunderland this year, now Forest Green, so we know we’re more than capable of doing it.

“I think it’s now finding the balance between having that really good attacking threat but also being more solid at the back.

“We’ve got a good squad here and we know that we’ve got a lot of people back from injury now so we’ve got stronger numbers on the bench and people coming on can come on and change the game.

“Hallam [Hope] and [Jack] Stobbsy both came off the bench to score goals, which is great and that’s exactly what we need going forward.

“I think that togetherness shows when people come off the bench and are still fighting for the team and all pulling in the right direction.

“We have got a great group of lads, I can’t say a bad word about any of them. We just need to kick on now and get points on the board.

“Back-to-back wins is something we’ve not done yet this season so when we win our next game I’m not going to say anything about getting back-to-back wins because whenever I say anything we don’t do it.

“It’s a really important run of games now and a really important period over Christmas so we’re looking forward to it.

“In the dressing room we don’t go into any game thinking we haven’t got a chance.

“But for me sometimes you need a bit of a spark, something to get you going and start your season and hopefully last week can be it.

“Hopefully we can turn the corner now. Performances are great but we need to get some serious points on the board in these next three games.

“In some ways it wasn’t a free hit on Saturday but no one expected us to get anything out of the game.

“I think it’s a point gained. Obviously you want to win every game at home considering the situation we were in, but it’s a vital period for us now over the Christmas period.

“We know these next few games are serious for us and we need to get some points on the board and get us out of the situation we are in.”