Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 28 January 2013
Latics boss on Latics’ FA Cup stunner
PAUL Dickov paid tribute to Athletic heroes whose pride and determination helped vanquish Liverpool on Sunday.
He ranked the win as one of the high points of his football career.
Matt Smith’s two goals and one from Reece Wabara were answered by a Luis Suarez strike and a late Joe Allen volley, but in the end it was the home side who propelled a packed-out Boundary Park into dreamland.
It was a superb effort from Athletic, who made it into the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of the Premier League giants.
“It is fantastic,” said Dickov. “I am proud of the players and the performance they put in and I’m pleased for the fans as well, as it's been a long time since they have had something to cheer about.
“To go out there and put in that performance against a team full of world-class players is great. The desire they had to go and win the game was the reason we ended up winning.
“I am lucky enough to have a European medal, I have been involved in FA Cup finals, played for my country and scored at Wembley. But to go out there and win the game, after everything that has gone on recently, is right up there at the very top.”
Dickov had particular praise for two-goal hero Smith, who gave a vaunted Liverpool line-up a torrid afternoon before his withdrawal through injury late on.
“Matt Smith was unplayable,” Dickov added. “But you look at the final 20 minutes when we were up against it and you have players chucking their bodies in front of the ball.
“And you have our goalkeeper (Dean Bouzanis) with three minutes to go coming through bodies and having the desire to go and catch the ball.
“We want players to be brave, to show desire and to work hard. I got all of that.”
In tonight’s paper: special 12-page victory supplement with masses of stories player comments and pictures. Also available in the eChron (click tab above)
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