They ought to have beaten MK Dons
Paul Dickov has warned Latics’ players they will underestimate tomorrow’s npower League One visitors Shrewsbury Town at their peril.
Latics’ manager says the fact the Shrews are below them in the table and on the fringe of the relegation places is irrelevant.
He points to the Shrews’ 2-2 draw at home to promotion favourites MK Dons as evidence of the danger they pose.
Dickov said: "It will be a hard game for us after watching the DVD of Shrewsbury’s match against MK Dons who are one of the best teams in the division.
"For long periods of the game, Shrewsbury battered MK Dons and ought to have won the game.
"I am aware Shrewsbury haven’t won away in the league, but I have seen a lot of them and they are a good passing team."
Though the Shrews have not won away, they have picked up creditable draws at Stevenage, Hartlepool and Brentford.
Dickov has great respect for opposite number Graham Turner who is at the opposite end of the footballing spectrum.
While Dickov is a rookie, 65-year-old Turner is a member of the select group who have managed 1,000 games.
He kicked off his career as Shrewsbury player-manager in 1978/79 and has also managed Aston Villa, Wolves and Hereford before returning to the Shrews in 2010.
And Dickov got to know Turner well last summer when they stayed in the same hotel on holiday in Barbados.
"Graham is a fantastic bloke and great football man. He loves football and the length of time he has spent in management and his achievements are a credit to him," he said.
Turner guided the Shrews to promotion in 2011/12 and they have consolidated their place in League One.
Dickov has identified the Little and Large strikeforce of Marvin Morgan and Luke Rodgers as a major threat.
Morgan, the 6ft 4in striker, is top scorer with five goals while his side kick is Rodgers who is on loan from Portsmouth.
Dickov says Latics’ back line will have to be strong as they were in midweek at Hartlepool where they came up against battering-ram striker Steve Howard.
Latics’ manager added there is also the additional threat from former Latics’ players Joe Jacobson and Rob Purdie saying they will be determined to do well on their returns to Boundary Park.
Dickov is looking for Latics to build on their much needed win at Hartlepool in midweek.
He admits it wasn’t pretty to watch, but he was delighted with the way his players battled for the victory which ended a disappointing run.
That was Latics’ third win on the road following earlier successes at Portsmouth and Crewe as they now have won 11 of their 20 points on their travels.
Dickov, who earlier in the week set his team a target of six points from the fixtures against Hartlepool and Shrewsbury, admits his players are finding it easier playing away at the moment adding it is up to them to put on a good display at Boundary Park to win over fans.
The Shrews will be appearing at Boundary Park in a league match for the first time in almost 24 years. Back in 1989, Latics triumphed 3-0 in a Second Division fixture.
They have visited Boundary Park more recently, however, in 2010 when they triumphed 1-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.