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Latics into the unknown

28 October 2013

Johnson on County manager's sacking

Lee Johnson is unsure what impact Chris Kiwomya's sacking will have on Notts County who Latics play tomorrow at Meadow Lane.

Kiwomya dismissal, along with Mick Jones and Andy Watson from his backroom team, followed Saturday's home defeat by Preston North End which dropped them to the bottom of Sky Bet League 1.

Development Squad Manager Steve Hodge, the former Nottingham Forest, Tottenham and England player, has been put in temporary charge for tomorrow's game.

Latics' manager (pictured) admitted: "I am not sure what to expect and it will go either one of two ways.

"We will see whether the team were playing for the manager and if his departure makes any difference and frees them to play differently.

"They will either give a good performance and go out with freedom or simply carry on playing as they have been."

First-team coach Paul Murray expects Hodge to make change which will provide a reaction.

"There will be a reaction - I have no doubt about it. Steve Hodge will probably bring in a few faces who haven't been playing, and that's where you get a reaction," he explained.

County have won only two of their 13 league matches and have collected a measly seven points.

Johnson added: "They are down at the bottom for a reason.

"They are a good side individually when you look at the players they have, including full internationals, but evidently they have not come together as a team. 

"And that is something we will be looking to exploit."

Johnson sympathises with Kiwomya.

"It is unfortunate that another young manager has lost his job," he continued.

It will be a case of friends reunited for Johnson tomorrow night.

County strikers Danny Haynes and Jamal Campbell-Ryce were former team mates at Bristol City.

Johnson also had a spell alongside central defender Dean Leacock at Derby County during a loan spell at Pride Park.

Murray will also be renewing acquaintances with former Hartlepool United team-mate Gary Liddle who he describes as a very good central defender.

Latics' manager describes it as an important match as his team bids to continue its improved form which has seen it suffer only one defeat in the last five league and cup matches.

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