SPEAKING after the 29-22 home defeat by Dewsbury Rams, Oldham coach Scott Naylor said: “This wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the season, but in fact everything that happened in that game was our season in a nutshell.
“We were well in the game after 65 or 70 minutes; we were leading 22-20 and attacking Dewsbury’s line; but five minutes later we were 23-22 down and we then conceded a late try as the game slipped away from us.
“It’s been the same story all season. We haven’t been able to shut a game down when we’ve been in front near the end and that’s one of the main reasons we’ve been relegated.
“Finally, I would like to thank the players for their efforts. We’ve been together for five years and it’s been a pleasure to coach them. We didn’t want to finish this way, but that’s sport.
“I would also like to thank the fans for supporting me and the players. They will be massively disappointed, but I hope they don’t forget that when we took over, Oldham were seventh in League 1.
“Promotion was always the dream and we went on to achieve that. I hope they remember the good time we’ve had, like winning promotion and managing to stay up in our first year.”
In his programme article on the last day of the season, Naylor wrote: “This is obviously a sad day for the club after being relegated last weekend at Swinton, but that’s sport unfortunately.
“To reflect on this season and to realise the difficulties we’ve faced is tough, but here goes.
“Injuries have played a huge part. To lose the quality of players we lost for the length of time we lost them would massively affect any club in this division.
“We started with the smallest squad due to the promises of the dual-reg agreement we had, but those promises never materialised and the dual-reg players never played enough games to make them available in the Shield play-offs which would have helped with the injuries we received.
“We also lost six games from a winning position, three of them in the last five minutes. Those things eventually catch up with you as the season goes on.
“Missed opportunities and the inability to finish teams off when the chances arose will again come back to haunt us.
“Ultimately, it is MY fault. I’m the boss so it’s my responsibility. I wholeheartedly apologise to the fans. I’ve tried everything I know to keep the club in the championship but unfortunately it wasn’t enough, so again I’m sorry for what’s happened.”