Harry Kewell is hoping to breed a winning mentality after recording one of the biggest wins of his managerial career on his 42nd birthday.
The former Leeds star coached Oldham Athletic to a 4-0 win over Wolves’ U21 side in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday.
Aside from a 6-0 win over non-league Saltdean United in the Sussex Senior Cup in 2018, it was the biggest win Kewell has presided over in his 77-match managerial career to date.
“We needed to score some goals, we needed to produce some quality in the final third and I definitely got that tonight from my team,” he told reporters after this week's win.
Come full-time, Kewell’s only unfulfilled birthday wish was that his side didn’t put the game to bed sooner.
After Danny Rowe’s 42nd minute opener, the Latics didn’t find the net again until the 85th minute.
But Bobby Grant’s strike paved the way for a brace from substitute Conor McAleny to seal a big win for the League Two side.
Kewell handed youngsters Ben Hough and Jordan Barnett their first senior starts for the club, but otherwise selected a number of first-team regulars as he bids to build some momentum for his side.
He said: “The way the season is situated, I think it was smart for us to play a strong team because we have to get used to this, the Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday.
"So I think the way that the team approached it was excellent, the way that we worked was excellent.
“It’s a cup competition and you want to progress. Every game you want to win, and it starts to build that winning mentality, so I’m pleased.”
🗣 Comments from the Head Coach on the opening EFL Trophy performance. #oafc— Oldham Athletic (@OfficialOAFC) September 23, 2020
The win was Kewell’s second in five games since taking over at the club in August, ending a run of five successive defeats, the most recent of which he slammed as a “terrible” display.
Oldham host their manager’s former club Crawley Town in their next league outing on Saturday afternoon UK time.