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Dickov looks to avoid Shaker

5 November 2012

Latics' manager previews derby clash

Paul Dickov will not be fooled by Bury's lowly standing in npower League One as Latics prepare for tomorrow night's derby at Boundary Park.
Latics' manager is aware that the Shakers have drawn away to Coventry, Sheffield United and Stevenage.

And there has been evidence that Bury, who recently appointed Kevin Blackwell as their new manager, are enjoying a change of fortune.

They arrived at Boundary Park on the back of a three match unbeaten run - they have beaten Hartlepool in the league and Exeter City in the FA Cup and drawn against Walsall in the league. 

Dickov warned: "It will be a tough game as Kevin has come in and turned their fortunes around. He has slightly changed the way they play and he has brought in some loan players who have given them enthusiasm.

"We know it will difficult as we saw last season when Bury won here 2-0 and there is no worse feeling than losing a game to your local rivals."

Latics' manager was referring to the five loan players currently at Bury - pacy winger Dominic Poleon and centre-half Zac Thompson (both Leeds), right-back Matt Doherty (Wolves), striker Tom Hopper (Leeds) and front man Troy Hewitt (QPR).

Dickov believes it is a game they can win if they approach it in the right frame of mind.

He said: "We have to first fight for the right to play, as we did at Crawley and Kidderminster. We are at our best when we work hard without the ball.

"It was a really pleasing and professional performance in Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Kidderminster.

"And though there were times when we were put under pressure, as you expect away from home against teams at whatever level, I thought we handled it well.

"We know we can play good well and good football, but the last two games at Crawley and Kidderminster we have shown we can dig in and battle. We are at our best when we do the horrible things right.

"If I was being over critical, maybe we ought to have been out of sight when you look at the number of chances we created."

Dickov believes Latics' recent good run has come from having a settled team and the players realising what good players they are.

He said: "When you have somebody like Dean Furman on the bench, the players in the team know they have to perform.

"And the consistency we are achieving, both in terms of team selection and the way we are playing, is really pleasing.

"I had a long chat last week with Dean who is my captain and, when you are out of the team, you tend to over think things and believe you are being treated differently.

"Dean is the captain of this football club and, to his credit, in training and on matchday, his attitude has been fantastic.

"It won’t  be long before Dean is back in the team whether it be through injury, bad result, loss of form or suspension.

"Whoever has been left out, whether it be Dean Furman, Robbie Simpson or Alex Cisak, the players who have replaced them have performed really well because they know if they don’t there are top players to take their place.

"There is good competition for places but, the most pleasing thing for me, is the atmosphere in the changing room is top class."

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