Sport

Patience is a virtue as Oldham Athletic take on ‘best in League One’ MK Dons, says caretaker Philliskirk

By Matthew Lees

Oldham Athletic caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk is pleading fans to be tolerant ahead the Latics’ clash with Milton Keynes Dons at Boundary Park.

Latics are yet to win in the league in 2013 and face MK Dons without a permanent manager after Paul Dickov’s resignation on Sunday.

With just three league wins at home this season, Philliskirk, who takes temporary charge with goalkeeping coach Paul Gerrard, is urging patience among the supporters.

“I have telephoned a couple of managers whose teams have recently played MK Dons and they say they are the best football team in the division,” said the former youth coach.

“They pass the ball for fun and have some good players as Karl Robinson has a fantastic budget to work with so has been able to attract the best players. 

“I will be amazed if there are spells in the game when they are not the dominant team so ask fans to be patient as we will also have to be on the pitch.” 

Captain Dean Furman is available after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations and is likely to reclaim the armband from midfield partner James Wesolowski.

Long-term absentees Cristian Montano and Youssouf M’Changama remain unavailable and there are doubts over forwards Robbie Simpson and Matt Smith.

However, deadline day signings Lee Barnard, Jordan Obita and Chris Iwelumo should make their home debuts.

Despite urging the fans to be patient, Philliskirk – previously caretaker manager for just one game in 2005 – believes they can make a difference.

“It is amazing when you are on the pitch to hear support rather than moans and groans. That is not me having a go, but fact,” added Philliskirk.

“We need the backing of fans more than ever at this time.” 

The Buckinghamshire side, aiming for their third consecutive win over Athletic, may play former Manchester United players Luke Chadwick and Alan Smith.

Both teams last won in the FA Cup when they pulled of giant killings against Premier League opposition.

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