Furman - No mercy for Blades
Dean Furman insists Oldham will not be giving Sheff Utd an easy ride on the opening day of the new season.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 02/07/11 6:16pm
Dean Furman insists Oldham Athletic will not be giving League One newcomers Sheffield United an easy ride on the opening day of the season.
The Blades visit Boundary Park on August 7 for their first taste of life outside the top two divisions since 1989.
However, with the Latics desperate to kick-start another promotion push after freefalling in the second half of last season, the South African knows a good start is essential.
"We are really looking forward to it and it's a great opening day fixture," Furman told skysports.com.
"Like any side coming down from the Championship, they won't really know what to expect when they come to Boundary Park and up until January we were undefeated at home (last season).
"So, we want to build on the start we had at home last season. They are a big club that will be looking to bounce back straight away and it will be a great test to see where we are at the start of the new season."
Oldham boss Paul Dickov believes naivety proved his side's downfall last season, but suggests the squad will have learned from the experience as they look for another assured start.
He said: "We were a very young squad that was maybe naive at times during the course of last season and I think that we gave away far too many goals after taking the lead.
"If anything, I feel that we have learnt a lot of lessons from last season and we can take it into this one with renewed confidence and a bit more experience on our side.
"We were up in the play-off positions around February before falling away, so we know we are capable of doing well this season.
"Every club suffers from injuries and suspensions and we were no different last season, with a bout of mumps going around the club at one time, which did limit the team selection.
"After that, we just couldn't get ourselves out of the rut until our chances of the play-offs had all but vanished, but we can take confidence in the fact that we did so well for two thirds of the season."