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Forget Liverpool cup clash

11 January 2013

We have three big league games first declares Dickov

Paul Dickov is determined that Latics don't become distracted by the glamour FA Cup with Budweiser, fourth-round tie against Liverpool later this month.

Latics' manager points out his side has three massively important matches in npower League One, starting with tomorrow's home game against promotion-chasing Brentford, before they can even contemplate playing the Barclays Premier League giants.

Dickov, who side is sixth bottom of the table, said: "While we look forward to playing Liverpool, we have a lot of hard games coming up.

"We don't want to take our eye off the league which is the most important thing.

"There is a little gap between the clubs beneath us in the table and we need to drag ourselves away from that group behind us at the bottom and make the gap wider."

After Brentford, Latics have two away days at Coventry City and Notts County, two other clubs in the mix for play-off places.

Dickov believes his team will go into tomorrow's game with spirits sky high after last Saturday's FA Cup win at npower Championship club Nottingham Forest.

He continued: "We fancy our chances as there is a lot of confidence running through the club after last Saturday when we beat a top Championship team which was three points outside the play offs.

"My message to the players will be to have a go at Brentford and, like Forest, nobody will be expecting us to win so let's do it again."

Latics are up against a Bees side which is currently in a rich vein of form having lost only once in its last 17 matches in all competitions.

They are unbeaten in seven matches, though each of their last three matches have been drawn.

Dickov has been impressed by the Bees who are managed by Uwe Rosler, his close friend and former Manchester City team mate.

He said: "Uwe has done a fantastic job at Brentford where he has just signed a new contract, and deservedly so.

"He had a reasonably successful first season and they are up there this time.

"They have a lot of good players and they are a powerful team which plays good football. They are also organised without the ball."

Latics' defence will have to be on its guard against 15-goal top scorer Clayton Donaldson, though he has failed to find the net in his last four appearances.

Before that, former Crewe hotshot scored in six games in a row.

Another dangerman is exciting winger Harry Forrester who has eight goals.

Forrester rejected the offer of a four-year contract with Dutch giants Ajax following a successful trial to sign for the Bees because he wanted to play regular football.

He is being linked with a return to Aston Villa where he began his career.

The Bees have extended the loans of Everton midfield man Jake Bidwell and defender Lee Hodson, from Watford while former Latics' loanee Tom Adeyemi is still at Griffin Park from parent-club Norwich City.

Latics will be looking to halt a miserable run against the Bees having lost their last three meetings and having lost five out of six matches since March 2010.

What better time than tomorrow to put that right?


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