Oldham manager Lee Johnson admits the 2-1 home defeat to Shrewsbury is not ideal ahead of next week's FA Cup clash with Liverpool.
Shrewsbury gave themselves breathing space above the League One drop zone thanks to a dogged performance at Boundary Park, crowned by goals from Jon Taylor and Aaron Wildig.
Their second away win of the campaign ended a run of one point from their previous four matches.
Oldham, who have gone six league games without a win and are sliding deeper into relegation trouble, dominated long spells, but visiting goalkeeper Chris Weale was in excellent form.
Their next test is at Liverpool, but Johnson said: "There was a lot of good stuff out there.
"People won't think it because we lost, but if you put together the highlights there were a lot of chances and a lot of melees inside their box.
"On the day we were a bit unlucky and the timing of their goals killed us.
"It's a sticky wicket at the moment, but our performance wasn't too bad. There wasn't a lack of effort, we just didn't get the breaks.
"It's massively important for us to get some key players back because it's difficult for a club like ours when you are missing four or five of them.
"We've had a couple of bad results at home, but you have to keep the faith and keep working hard.
"We have a lot to look forward to and I was hoping for a feel-good week before the Liverpool game, but the league is our bread and butter."
Shrewsbury went in front in the 23rd minute when Tom Eaves set up Taylor to volley home from 12 yards.
Oldham levelled after 35 minutes as Jonathan Grounds volleyed in a half-cleared corner, but the Latics failed to turn dominance into goals and hit the woodwork twice through Korey Smith and Adam Rooney.
Shrewsbury grabbed the points in the 62nd minute when Wildig's first effort came back off the post and he tucked away the rebound from 10 yards.