Sport

Paul Dickov demands instant reaction from Oldham Athletic against Hartlepool after weekend horror show

By Colin Henrys

Oldham Athletic boss Paul Dickov has demanded two wins from Latics’ next two matches, starting with tonight’s match at Hartlepool United.

Dickov, still seething after a second-half collapse at Bournemouth on Saturday saw them lose 4-1, has accepted his side are now firmly in a relegation battle.

The Scot now wants his players to adapt their mentality accordingly and pull Latics towards safety.

“The next two games are massive and are six pointers. There is no getting away from that and the minimum we are looking for is six points,” he told the club’s website.

He added: “We have got to get to 50 points as quickly as we can. The season starts tonight.

“Hartlepool also had a poor result at the weekend and their new manager [John Hughes] will be looking for a reaction in the same way as I will be from my players.

“We are all going to have to dig in. It is alright having good footballers but, when the chips are down, they need to show their mettle.”

Hartlepool sit bottom of League One with just eight points from their 18 matches so far this season but Dickov believes recent results have dealt a reality blow to his players.

“What the group has to realise is where we are in the league table and the battle we have on our hands,” he said.

“It is alright for me to be coming out before and after games and saying how good we are and how we want to push up the table.

“The harsh reality is that the players are here for a reason. If they were Championship players, that is where they would be playing.”

“I touched on that after the Bournemouth game,” he added. “It may be a case of stopping the players believe they are better than they are and stop talking about how good they are as a team.”

Captain Dean Furman and fellow midfielder James Wesolowski are both available again after suspension, but former Middlesbrough youngster Jonathan Grounds is banned.

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