Oldham boss Dave Penney has taken Simon Whaley on trial ahead of the home clash with Walsall.

The 24-year-old winger, who had his contract at Norwich cancelled at the start of the month, played in the 2-0 Manchester Senior Cup win against Bury in midweek.

Whaley is a free agent but he has not signed for the Latics and will therefore not feature against the Saddlers.

Jon Worthington, Andy Holdsworth, Kelvin Lomax, Rob Purdie and Lewis Alessandra all remain sidelined through injury as Oldham seek to bounce back from their 4-2 loss at Swindon on Tuesday.

Penney has vowed that his side will improve defensively against Walsall, saying: "To concede four isn't like us and we have to get back to being tight and resolute."

Walsall boss Chris Hutchings has received a defensive boost.

Captain Mark Hughes and fellow centre-back Manny Smith are in contention to start after nursing respective ankle and thigh injuries of late. Hughes has been on the bench in recent games but was not deemed 100% fit until now.

Darryl Westlake will continue at right-back with Rhys Weston (hamstring) hoping to return by the end of month, but Hutchings will now have to decide who will fill the three remaining defensive slots with Clayton McDonald, Jamie Vincent and Netan Sansara having impressed of late.

New signing Julian Gray is hoping the relevant paperwork is processed in time for him to make his debut having penned a short-team deal with the Saddlers on Friday.

Fellow wide man Steve Jones (groin) hopes to return by the end of next week while striker Sam Parkin (groin) will be fit to face the Latics.

The striker missed Tuesday`s much-needed win at Bristol Rovers, a result which ended a run of eight games without victory.

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Topics:
#Norwich City
#Bristol Rovers
#Football
#League One
#Sam Parkin
#Walsall
#Mark Hughes
#Simon Whaley
#Swindon Town
#Netan Sansara
#Andy Holdsworth
#Julian Gray
#Oldham Athletic
#Wigan Athletic
#Kelvin Lomax
#Rhys Weston
#Mark Hughes
#Darryl Westlake
#Steve Jones
#Lewis Alessandra
#Simon Whaley
#Clayton McDonald
#Jamie Vincent