Case for the defence is not a strong one for Latics

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Paul Dickov may be heading for the top in management, but his side’s defending is going in the other direction.

Dickov blasted his side for ‘schoolboy defending’ after the defeat to Southampton as Oldham surrendered a goal advantage at St Mary’s Stadium on the way to a 2-1 defeat.

If Dickov does manage to achieve the ambitions that he outlined last week of reaching the Premier League as a boss, he will have to find a way to conquer the problem.

A Dean Furman opener was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by a free header for Jose Fonte.

The Portuguese defender was unmarked as he nodded in Adam Lallana’s free-kick to level the scores and give Dickov a reason to rant at the break.

The Oldham defence was similarly inefficient in the second period as Alex Chamberlain scored a 73rd minute winner. The teenager capitalised on Oldham’s inability to clear their lines, left several of the visitor’s defence standing before unleashing a drive into the corner. It is fair to say that Chamberlain may have to work harder for goals in the future.

Dickov has highlighted his side’s defending from set-pieces before this season and it is clearly costing the Latics. The collapse away to Peterborough- where Oldham shipped five after taking a two goal lead- being a prime example.

The frustration from the Scot is understandable. Oldham created plenty of chances against the Saints and regularly threatened to add to their solitary strike.

On another day (and with more proficient defending), the result could have been so different.

It is now up to Dickov to improve matters or his side will find themselves marooned in mid-table mediocrity for the season.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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League One
Oldham Athletic

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