Fortune favours the brave - Dickov
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 30 November 2012
Latics boss seeks positive attitude from midfielders
PAUL Dickov wants extra firepower as Athletic go for FA Cup glory tomorrow.
Only three times all season have Athletic's central midfielders found the back of the net.
James Wesolowski is yet to score and captain Dean Furman and Youssouf Mchangama have one each so far. The other goal came from striker turned midfield man Robbie Simpson.
As a team, Athletic have only scored five times in the last six fixtures. And with support up front lacking, on-loan Matt Derbyshire's barren scoring run has stretched to nine matches.
Dickov worked with his players on the issue in training yesterday to try to rid them of a safety-first mindset which has protection rather than attack as its focus.
And there would be no better time to hit the goal trail than in the second round FA Cup-tie tomorrow at Boundary Park, against an in-form Doncaster outfit Dickov says his side are well capable of beating.
"Looking back to a couple of months ago when Dean Furman scored against Preston, those are the positions we want to get him in," said the manager, who loses suspended duo Dean Bouzanis and Cliff Byrne, but welcomes back Simpson into tomorrow's squad after a groin injury.
Players can become more concerned with not conceding goals rather than getting forward.
"We have worked hard at it in training and hopefully it will pay off."
Dickov feels the absence of Doncaster's suspended duo of David Cotterill and Iain Hume may hurt the visitors' chances more than Athletic’s loss of Byrne and Bouzanis — the club’s eighth and ninth suspensions of the season.
Both players have been fined wages and Dickov has driven home the message to his squad that poor discipline is hurting the team's chances.
Alex Cisak comes straight back in after his recall from Portsmouth to feature in goal against Rovers, but with James Tarkowski struggling with his feet, the make-up of the rest of the starting XI remains a matter of conjecture.
Nobody is under any illusions as to the importance of getting through to the third round, Dickov emphasised.
"If we get there, then we can all sit down and enjoy the draw on Sunday," he said. "But we won't have anything to watch if we don't get a (positive) result."
The draw will be made by Fabrice Muamba and Ledley King and shown at 2.40pm on ITV1.
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