SELIM Benachour conceded Oldham Athletic are in a "complicated situation" after losing the basement battle with Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day and dropping to the bottom of League Two.

Latics took the lead through Benny Couto's first senior goal. But unable to finish the job, Ryan Loft came off the bench to change the game for the Iron and prompt a change of position in the bottom two.

Oldham now head in to the final game of 2021 - away to Barrow on Wednesday - bottom of the entire Football League, three points adrift of safety and without a permanent head coach for over a month.

"We are in a complicated situation. We started very well for the first 20 minutes and we scored when we were on top," said Benachour, who stepped up from the Academy to become interim head coach following Keith Curle's departure in November.

"I feel my team dropped off a little bit after the goal. We started to doubt a little bit and in the second half we lost control of the game. They were better than us in the second half, physically and mentally. They won their challenges, the second balls.

"We lost control of the game in the second half but we need to bounce back. We have important games coming with Barrow on Wednesday and Hartlepool on Saturday so we need to bounce back quick."

Benachour said he took full responsibility for the defeat, but admitted that while they were able to get the game one when so many others had fallen foul of Covid throughout the divisions, the virus had caused havoc with his preparations.

However, the interim head coach insisted that he was not looking for excuses.

"I don't know what happened. I tried to calm them at half-time because we finished the last 15-20 minutes a little bit behind Scunthorpe," he continued.

"I need to find a solution quickly, to analyse the game and see what's happened in the second half.

"I will take responsibility for this defeat.

"The games are coming quick and we need to react."

Benachour made five changes to the line-up from the 5-5 draw with Forest Green in their last game, and explained that some were enforced.

"Davis (Keillor-Dunn) doesn't start because he's had Covid and missed a week of training so I can't start him. He came on at half-time," he said.

"Jamie Bowden also had Covid and Jordan Clarke didn't feel well this morning. It's difficult because we've tried to prepare but every day something like this happens.

"Jordan called us this morning and he can't play. He was in the hospital overnight with his daughter and it was difficult.

"Every day is a lottery. We have to wait until the last moment to see what's happening with Covid and we need to be careful of that.

"It is hard but I will not look for excuses. A lot of teams have the same problem. We need to be better."