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League One

Dickov slams Latics after Saddlers draw

22 August 2012

Oldham manager Paul Dickov was critical of his players after they threw away the lead to draw 1-1 at home against Walsall.

Yousouff M'changama fired Oldham ahead after a blunder by Walsall goalkeeper David Grof, but Saddlers substitute George Bowerman was handed a late equaliser when he pounced on Dean Furman's weak backpass.

"It's very frustrating that I'm talking about a draw when we should have won the game 1-0," said Dickov. "It was a horrendous goal to give away and the players know exactly how I feel about our second-half performance.

"We went 1-0 up and looked quite comfortable and at half-time we talked about not getting sloppy and about doing the things that had got us in front.

"Instead of doing that, they went out as though they thought it would be a stroll in the park. You can't do that at any level, but it was all tippy-tappy football and it just wasn't good enough.

"Their keeper made a mistake on our goal and we should have been testing him as much as possible, but we wanted to walk the ball into the net.

"When we do things right we're a good team, but maybe they think they are better than they really are. You've got to manage the game, especially at 1-0, and our experienced players didn't do that. We gave the ball away far too easily."

Walsall manager Dean Smith was satisfied with his player's response after the Saddlers had lost their first game of the season 3-0 at home to Doncaster. He said: "Saturday wasn't the disaster some people were making out, but I needed a reaction and I got one.

"It's good to be off the mark and we finished the game very strongly, which was pleasing. The goal we conceded was down to a mistake, but I'm not going to hammer a young goalkeeper because these things do happen.

"When our chance came to equalise I never had any doubt that George Bowerman would take it - he practices those every day and is a good finisher."

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