Oldham boss Keith Curle described his players’ application as “first class” after seeing them secure a 0-0 home draw against Hartlepool amid continuing supporter discontent.
The Latics’ first home point of the season arrived after further fan protests and even a fly-past with a message of anger as supporters continue to rail against the Boundary Park ownership.
Curle, whose team remain rooted to the bottom of the League Two table despite their point, said: “Our fans have got an opinion, they’ve got a voice, and of course they’re entitled to that.
“There was a peaceful demo and our players are aware there’s unrest, but the fans also back the team and once again they were excellent today.
“They’ve shown their passion for the club and nothing else.
“The players’ mindset and application has been first class all season, and the confidence will come back.
“Maybe we need to turn defence into attack a bit more because we’ve definitely got the players who can hurt opposition teams.
“There are some really gifted players in our squad.
“Some have maybe got to get out of that under-23s mode maybe, but the quality is there.
Oldham now have the opportunity to make a name for themselves in midweek when they head to Premier League Brentford in the Carabao Cup.
Curle added: “I see that as an opportunity to progress.
“They will field a weakened team because they’ve got an abundance of good professional players.
“If we show our mettle, though, we can get a result there.”
Hartlepool went closest in the first period when Mark Shelton headed against a post after he met Jamie Sterry’s precise cross.
Earlier Hallam Hope ought to have struck for Oldham, but his effort was cleared off the line by Zaine Francis-Angol.
Oldham enjoyed the better of the second half, but could not force their advantage home despite Hope and Callum Whelan going close.
The draw secured Hartlepool’s first away point of the season, but Dave Challinor was not overly impressed with his team’s performance.
He said: “At least we got a point at the end of what was probably our worst performance of the season.
“It’s a frustrating one, but it’s a point on the road.
“We’ve played better this season and got nothing, so there are positives to be taken.
“There are bound to be occasions when we don’t play well, and I guess we’ve got to accept that.
“We’ve got to be better, though.
“As a management group we’ll have to see what we can do better, but at least we kept a clean sheet too.
“Both sides had a bit of luck I thought. Both missed a couple of really good chances.
“This may well become a decent point if we go on and win the next game.
“That’s what we need to look at doing now.”