Have a go!
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 02 March 2012
Rise to the occasion, says Latics boss
PAUL Dickov wants his side to be inspired by their surroundings tomorrow.
Pointing to the draw gained in an enterprising show at Charlton and the graft put in despite losing to the only goal at Huddersfield, Athletic’s manager beloeves his men are capable of lifting themselves on big occasions against ambitious clubs.
Danny Wilson’s crack Sheffield United squad, which boasts strike power of sufficient calibre that even former England forward James Beattie isn’t guaranteed a start, stand between the visitors and the unlikely spoils at Bramall Lane tomorrow.
But at the very least, Dickov hopes his young, injury-hit side can gain some important lessons from the experience.
“Danny has got a promotion-winning team there and one thing we have not got to do is be overawed by it,” said Dickov, whose side have enjoyed good home form but are without an away win in npower League One since mid-September.
“We have shown by going to Huddersfield, Charlton and even Anfield this season that we can go to these places and have a go.
“It will be a fantastic crowd and a great stadium to play in and we want to go and do ourselves justice.
“We know what our last away game was like against promotion contenders (a 5-0 loss at MK Dons) and we don’t want that to happen again.
“If you can’t raise your game at grounds like Bramall Lane, there is something wrong with you.”
Promising to play attacking football tomorrow — while at the same time being aware of the treat posed by his former Manchester City club-mate, 21-goal striker Ched Evans — Dickov has watched the Blades personally in their last two fixtures.
Both have been struggles for the side sitting in second place in the table. On Sunday, they lost to city rivals Wednesday, before only seeing off Scunthorpe 2-1 in a come-from-behind win two days ago thanks largely to a red card for the visitors.
Nonetheless, the game provides a big test for the likes of teenagers Carl Winchester, David Mellor, James Tarkowski and Keanu Marsh-Brown.
“It is important that when young players make mistakes, they don’t go into their shells and that they keep trying to do the right things,” Dickov added.
“They are good players and it is a credit to them for the way they have handled themselves at their young ages.”
With a long injuries list and a variety of minor knocks being carried by players, including the tight hamstrings of Robbie Simpson, only six players took part in training yesterday.
Chris Taylor was one absentee with a continuing illness, though it was hoped he would take part today.
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