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TWO games away from home this week and two contrasting performances.

At Peterborough a week ago we did enough to win the game and if we had taken our chances then we would have done so a lot more comfortably.

Simon Eastwood made some outstanding saves for us and needed to, which maybe, looking back, was a warning sign.

He did really well again at Oldham on Tuesday night, but this time we were punished and came away with nothing to show for our efforts.

I didn’t think we really deserved anything because we started slowly and didn’t adapt well enough to a difficult pitch and a battling home side who fought exceptionally hard.

We’ve had a lot of praise this season for the way we play our football, but you can only do that if you are also prepared to compete and win your 50/50 battles.

Don’t get me wrong, we did work hard and towards the end we threw everything we had at Oldham without being able to get the breakthrough.

For the first time we looked a little bit leggy.

That’s hardly surprising after racing past the 50-game mark already, but we will have to have a look at how we freshen things up and get the energy levels back up ahead of two important home games.

We play two sides who are in the top six and I think this week will really tell us where we stand and whether we are going to be able to close that gap.

We will have to make a couple of changes next week because Canice Carroll will be away with Ireland and Ryan Ledson links up with the England under 20 squad.

What a great honour for Ryan – there aren’t many players from outside the Premier League in that squad and he leaves after today’s game with our blessing.

He returns in time for our Wembley final against Coventry, but what I want is a headache.

I want whoever comes into the side on Tuesday to play so well in the next three games that I have a major decision to make.

The league remains our goal and while there are points to fight for then we are going to do everything in our power to get ourselves into the play-off places.

FOOTBALL can be a very cruel world and this week saw one of our former players Aidan Hawtin having to retire at 21 years of age.

Aidan is a terrific lad and deserved his chance at being a pro here.

He fought back from operations on both cruciate ligaments and was always upbeat and positive, but this week he finally had to admit defeat after another knee injury.

I know exactly how he will be feeling, but the good thing is that he made the decision himself – there will be no lingering ‘what ifs’ in his mind.

He has plenty to offer football if he stays in the game.

But whatever he does next, I know he will be a success because of that positive outlook and refusal to take no for an answer.

Everyone at the club wishes him well.