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Good vibrations

13 September 2013

Rachubka senses feel-good factor

New-signing Paul Rachubka firmly believes Latics can be in the end-of-season mix for promotion.

It is not cheap talk from the 32-year-old goalkeeper (pictured), but based on experience.

In a career which has spanned 14 clubs, either permanently or on loan, there is little Rachubka hasn't seen.

He said: "I have won promotion from all three divisions (Championship, League One and Two) and from what I have seen in terms of the atmosphere about the place, we are not that far off.

"You can get a feel in the changing room and that is one of the things which drew me to the club."

Rachuba, who left Leeds United recently, had been training with Latics to keep fit as he looked for a new club.

That new club was Latics as Lee Johnson offered Rachubka a short-term contract until January 5th, 2014.

And in recent weeks Rachubka has witnessed at first hand the potential of Johnson's young squad.

He said: "I know results have not gone for us, but I believe what we are doing is right.

"And if we fine tune things, I am sure we will be contenders, if not for automatic promotion then through the play offs."

For Rachubka it is a case of his career turning full circle as he has returned to the club where he played 17 games in 2001/02 season when he was on loan from Manchester United.

"The club has changed, but in some ways has not changed. It is good to be back," he said.

Rachubka recalls his goalkeeping coach at Boundary Park was Dave Watson who is now in a similar role with England. He says he has also learned a lot from working with the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Fabien Barthez and Dean Kiely.

Rachubka will provide competition to Mark Oxley, the young keeper signed by Latics on a season-long loan from Hull City.

He said: "Mark's position is similar to mine when I had my first spell with Latics.  I was a young keeper arriving on loan from a Premier League club.

"It is a steep learning curve and hopefully we can both learn off each other.

"It is really good working with Bobby Mimms who is lively and enthusiastic about the game and it is great to have somebody like him to fine tune your game.

"Whether it is talking to you or putting on sessions, Bobby knows what Mark and I are going through as it has happened to him in his career."

Rachubka admitted it was strange being out of work recently - it was for the first time in his lengthy career.

"The game has changed and the gulf between clubs at this level and the top teams has never been bigger. Whether it is right or wrong I don't know, but it is the way it is," he said.

Rachubka believes at the age of 32 he still has plenty to offer and he is still striving to improve.

He does, however, have an eye on the future as he serves on the Professional Footballers' Association's management committee and is interested in off field football development.

"It is something I am looking at whether it be in six months time or six years," he continued.



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