Magpies fly into town
Paul Dickov is relishing the challenge as Latics bid to defeat npower League One leaders Notts County tomorrow at Boundary Park.
"They are top of the table on merit and Keith (Curle) has got them playing good football," explained Latics’ manager.
Dickov took advantage of a rare Saturday off last weekend to watch the Magpies defeat Shrewsbury Town 3-2 in an exciting match at Meadow Lane.
He added that it is always preferable to see teams live wherever possible rather than relying on a scouting report.
And of tomorrow’s opponents, Dickov’s said: "They have some good, attacking players and cause opponents a lot of problems going forward.
"Keith has quickly put his stamp on the side and has assembled a very good squad. You only have to look at the players they had on the bench last weekend."
Their substitutes included former Latics’ player Lee Hughes, Enoch Showunmi and Joss Labadie.
Curle brought in nine new players before the season kicked off including seasoned professionals like Francois Zoko (Carlisle), Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Bristol City), Dean Leacock (Leyton Orient), Gary Liddle (Hartlepool), Bartosz Bailkowski (Southampton), Showunmi and Labadie (both Tranmere).
County arrive at Boundary Park with a 100-per-cent away record in the league having won on the road at Crewe and Bury.
They have won four of their five away games, the one blemish a 1-0 home defeat by Walsall.
"We know it will be tough, but it is a fantastic game for us. The boys want to continue from the Portsmouth game and are still hurting and have a point to prove from Chesterfield," added Dickov.
Latics will be returning to action for the first time since the defeat at Chesterfield in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy a week last Tuesday.
They have used the 11 days between fixtures to put in extra work on the training ground to address their early-season problems.
There has been no time off and Dickov said: "Some might consider it a punishment, but we have used the time to strip things back to basics.
"The players have shown on a consistent basis they cannot keep a level performance. We need to work hard at getting it right."