Dickov set to stay on
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 28 January 2013
THE FUTURE of Athletic manager Paul Dickov was being hammered out today.
Chairman Simon Corney suggested this morning the manager’s job is safe “for the time being” after Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup in brilliant style at Boundary Park.
Pointing to the run of seven defeats in the last eight npower League One matches - which has left Athletic perched only one point above the relegation places - Corney said speculation on Dickov’s position was a natural consequence of that barren period.
But while talk was widespread before the Liverpool tie that the Scot was set to depart Athletic, depending on the result of discussions between manager and chairman today, he may be granted a stay of execution.
“I think after the run we have had, when we have drawn one game in eight and lost the other seven, there is always going to be speculation,” said Corney.
“We would like to keep Paul. The fans want Paul to stay. But there is pressure, it’s inevitable. But I think Paul is okay for the time being.
“Paul and I have a great working relationship and he puts pressure on himself. If you lose seven out of eight games then you’re going to be under pressure.
“Hopefully this will be the kick–start and we won’t be talking about Paul’s job again.”
Athletic’s players have come out strongly in support of Dickov staying, with Robbie Simpson revealing the entire squad is behind their boss: “We are behind the manager all the way, without a shadow of doubt,” he said.
“It is a thankless task for him at the moment, with the lack of staff around him. He is doing everything, from match reports right the way through to picking the team.
“He is doing everything on his own and that sums him up as a person.”
While Athletic were enjoying the occasion at Boundary Park, regular captain Dean Furman had double reason to celebrate after he helped South Africa top Group ‘A’ to reach the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations.
Furman played for the full 90 minutes as Bafana drew 2-2 with Morocco in dramatic fashion, a result which secured qualification.
South Africa were heading out of the competition after a Mehdi Namli goal put Morocco 2-1 up in the 82nd minute in Durban.
But Siyabonga Sangweni netted four minutes later to dump the North Africans out of the tournament.
ATHLETIC’S reward for the historic victory yesterday is a home tie against Everton in the fifth round of the FA Cup, which will take place on the weekend of February 16 and 17.
It provides an opportunity to complete a Merseyside double, over opponents who were defeated by Athletic in the 2007-08 competition thanks to Gary McDonald’s superb goal at Goodison Park.
Athletic won £90,000 in FA prize money for seeing off Liverpool, in addition to a £135,850 reward for having the game televised live.
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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