David vs Goliath: Oldham Atheltic’s Lee Johnson calls for heroics ahead of League Cup clash with Derby

By Matthew Lees

After last season’s giant killing heroics, Oldham Athletic manager Lee Johnson is urging his side to prove how good they are against Derby County in the Capital One Cup.

The Rams travel to Boundary Park for the first round tie – Oldham’s maiden home game of the season – looking for victory in a competition they reached the semi-final of in 2009.

Oldham are without a win in their last seven League Cup outings; however, they are unbeaten in their two previous meetings against Derby in this competition and Johnson wants his side to believe they can cause an upset.

“We believe in ourselves and have a lot of players who are hungry to the next level and show what they can do against Championship players,” he told the club’s website.

“A lot of the Derby players come from similar backgrounds to ours and they know exactly what it is like to have the boot on the other foot and to try and slay a giant.”

Athletic, who are facing Derby for the first time since 2002, have injury doubts over Jose Baxter, James Dayton and Cristian Montano but will be hoping to have a full squad to choose from.

Johnson, who made seven appearances for the Rams in a loan spell in 2010, knows Oldham will have to be at the top of their game to come out on top.

“Derby has a solid side, their players have good energy, are good on the ball and they also have some good attacking threats,” he said.

“Of course I believe we can win the game. I am not complacent in thinking we can turn up and stroll to victory against a Championship side.

“We will have to play to our maximum with everything going for us and then maybe we will have a chance.”

Meanwhile the Rams’ manager Nigel Clough, who has won the League Cup twice as a player, will have the luxury of choosing between former Latic loanees Lee Grant and Adam Ledzdins to go in goal.

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