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Oldham boss Wild ready to return to reality after FA Cup giant killing at Fulham

Lifelong supporter and academy coach Wild took Oldham's reins on December 27.
By Nick Purewal, | 17d

Caretaker boss Pete Wild is ready to leave his dream job behind and return to the stands as a fan despite masterminding Oldham's FA Cup giant killing at Fulham.

Lifelong supporter and academy coach Wild took Oldham's reins on December 27, and just 10 days later guided the League Two outfit to a 2-1 third-round win at Craven Cottage.

The Oldham supporter-turned-boss even left his train travel and match ticket unused on Sunday, as Sam Surridge's penalty and Callum Lang's header stunned the Premier League hosts.

Wild insisted he would revel in his madcap touchline celebrations when Wigan loanee Lang buried the 89th-minute winner, but could not fathom his invitation to appear as a studio guest on Sunday night's Match of the Day.

Asked if an FA Cup giant-killing would be enough for him to chase Oldham's permanent manager role, Wild replied: "No, like I've always said, I've been an academy manager two minutes.

"The fairytale will come to an end at some point, reality will strike. And you've got to be prepared for that.

"I've got a family to support and a mortgage to pay. Maybe there's a conversation with the chairman, but I'll just crack on until told otherwise.

"The players have earned the right to be in the fourth round; whether I'm there or not is up to the club.

"If I'm there to lead them out then fantastic. If it's a new manager, then I'll be in the crowd again, giving my support to the team."

Oldham's dramatic winner came after Aleksandar Mitrovic missed a penalty with his first touch after climbing off the bench.

Serbia striker Mitrovic was the man furious with team-mate Aboubakar Kamara for defying team orders to take – and miss – a penalty in Fulham's 1-0 win over Huddersfield on December 29.

Mitrovic popped up with a late winner to save the day against the Terriers, but was the fall-guy on Sunday as Fulham slipped to a poor loss.

Denis Odoi's neat finish put the hosts in front early in the second half, only for Surridge to equalise from the spot, just hours before he returns to Bournemouth as his Oldham loan comes to an end.

Mitrovic missed a penalty of his own, hotly disputed but awarded by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) – and then Lang thumped home a fine headed winner for Oldham.

"I'm probably the proudest man in Oldham, and I'm so proud of the players, they gave the club everything today," said Wild.

"I never ever thought that in my life I'd appear on Match of the Day.

"You watch it all your life as a football fan."

Expecting to cop some light-hearted flak over his exuberant celebrations, Wild added: "I did exactly the same thing at Port Vale away last week.

"Everyone was making fun of me, but that's life. They can show it all they want.

"I haven't paid my mates for the ticket yet. They're on their way back to Euston out of pocket, but they said they'd stand me the £70 now!"

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri criticised his players for lacking the required fight for victory.

"Congratulations to Oldham; I gave a chance to players who aren't involved and they missed their chance," said Ranieri.

"If there is an opportunity to buy somebody, the chairman is ready.

"I didn't see the desire (or) the passion that I saw with Oldham."



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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