Latics manager's positive message
Don’t panic is Paul Dickov’s message as Latics prepare for tomorrow’s npower League One visit of Stevenage to Boundary Park.
Latics’ manager believes there is not a lot wrong despite a disappointing start to their campaign in which they have picked up only one point from their first two league fixtures.
Dickov points to the “fine lines” which exist in football saying but for the equalising goal they gifted Walsall in midweek their outlook would be far different.
He said: “You would be talking about a 1-0 win, three points and a clean sheet, even though we didn’t play anywhere near our best.
“You have to remember we are only two games into the season and there is no need to panic. Don’t judge us until we have played 10 games.
“There has been a lot of knee-jerk reaction and I understand why fans are frustrated and not happy with the performance and result against Walsall. Neither was I.
“All it takes is one win, or a couple of them, and we are back where we want to be. And there is a desire among the players to put things right.”
Dickov has watched the DVD of the game several times and believes not a lot is wrong.
He continued: “We played some good football in the first half without ever being at our best. We went 1-0 ahead and I could not see them scoring.
“We warned the players at half time, but they went out and seemed to take the second half for granted and stopped passing the ball with any purpose.”
Dickov added the frustrating thing is that is all three competitive games Latics have gifted goals to their opposition and they have been easily avoidable.
He also points to a need to be more ruthless in front of opponents’ goals.
Latics’ manager admitted tomorrow won’t be easy as Stevenage have made a decent start to the season picking up four points from their first two matches. They won on the road at Milton Keynes Dons in midweek.
They will also be mindful that Stevenage took four points out of six against Latics last season from their two matches which were also their first-ever meetings.
Stevenage reached the League One play offs last season as they came a whisker of winning promotion for a third successive season having only been elected to the Football League in 2010.
Gary Smith, who succeeded Graham Westley as Stevenage manager in January, has transformed the playing staff in the summer with 13 players leaving and 10 new arrivals.
The new boys include former Boundary Park favourite Filipe Morais and Latics loanees Lee Hills and Anthony Grant.
Goalkeeper Chris Day is a fourth former Latics player returning to Boundary Park.
The 37-year-old spent the 2005/06 season with Latics and has been at Stevenage since 2008 and been a key player in the rise from non-league.