Manager eyes silverware
Unlike some clubs, Paul Dickov is treating the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy seriously as Latics tonight kick off their 2012/13 bid for silverware at holders Chesterfield.
"We will be putting out a strong team as it is a competition which gives us a realistic chance of success as we saw last season," explained Latics’ manager.
Dickov continued: "We will be going all out for that trip to Wembley which we narrowly missed out on last season.
"It is a trophy the lads want to do well in because they know close we were and how badly let down everybody was after the Chesterfield games last season.
"It is our only realistic chance of getting to Wembley and we want to make sure we go for it."
Ironically it was tonight’s opponents Chesterfield who were their undoing as they defeated Latics in the Northern Area Final which was the last hurdle before Wembley.
Latics go to the renamed Proact Stadium with a depleted side as the central-midfield pairing of James Wesolowski and Dean Furman are out is Jordan Slew.
Chesterfield will also have key players and firepower missing with Jordan Bowery last week sold to Aston Villa while Craig Westcarr is suspended after being sent off on Saturday.
Dickov says the Spireites will be a threat, even without Bowery, saying they have brought in a very good striker in Marc Richards from Port Vale.
Richards is a former Latics’ loanee, though that was back in 2001 when he was a youngster at Blackburn Rovers.
There is quite a contingent with Latics’ connections with Mark Allott, Danny Whitaker, Terrell Forbes and Neal Trotman all ex Boundary Park players.
Though Latics’ legend John Sheridan was dismissed as Spireites’ manager last week, caretaker Tommy Wright and his No 2 Mark Crossley were also part of the management team under Sheridan at Latics.
Dickov says playing against a team without a manager can work against teams.
He said: "Chesterfield went to Gillingham on Saturday and the reports we received are that they played ever so well.
"Gillingham have spent a lot of money are one of the favourites to go up yet they drew 1-1 so we know it is going to be tough.
"Knowing Tommy Wright, he will have the players up for tonight’s game.”
Dickov believes it was "harsh" that Sheridan lost his job as he had enjoyed success in his time at the club, including one promotion and last season winning the JPT.