Oldham Athletic midfielder Dean Furman has warned Sheffield United to expect a tough opening day clash at Boundary Park.
The Latics enjoyed an impressive run of form that took them to the cusp of the play-offs mid-season, but a poor run in the final months of the campaign left Paul Dickov's side lingering towards the bottom of Npower League One.
However, Furman believes home advantage could be key on August 7th, and Oldham will be looking to start the new season as they did the last one.
"We are really looking forward to it and it's a great opening day fixture," the South African 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).
"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."
Dickov earned praise for his approach with young players last term whilst in his first position as a manager, and whilst the former Leicester City forward believes naivety played a key part in their downfall at the end of the campaign, he's confident the club will be better-off for the experience.
"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," said Dickov.
"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."
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