WIGAN Athletic old-boy Nouha Dicko will present ‘a big threat’ to his former club’s survival hopes, according to Gary Caldwell.
The 22-year-old has been banging in the goals for fun since leaving the DW Stadium for Molineux midway through last term.
In football, if you don’t have the mental toughness and the resilience to cope with setbacks, you’ve no chanceGary Caldwell
Dicko’s 13 goals in 19 games played a massive part in Wolves’ promotion-winning campaign, in addition to six goals in six games for Rotherham – who also went up to the Championship – earlier in the campaign.
It’s been a similar story this term, with Dicko notching another 13 goals to keep Wolves in the play-off picture ahead of the last two games of the season – against Latics and, ironically, their relegation rivals Millwall.
And Caldwell admits Latics will have to beware their old-boy with a point to prove.
“He’s a big threat,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“He didn’t get his opportunity here, and he went away and has done tremendously well for himself at Wolves.
“He’s been playing regularly, scoring goals and really causing havoc for defences.
“We’ve watched him, we know his threat and we’ll be ready for the challenge that he proves for defenders.”
Dicko was shown the door by then-boss boss Uwe Rosler, having failed to feature in a single league game during his two-and-a-half years at the DW Stadium.
His nine appearance consisted of four FA Cup ties, two League Cup matches, the Europa League clashes against Zulte Waregem and NK Maribor, and the 2013 Community Shield against Manchester United.
But the way he’s bounced back and kickstarted his career at Wolves has been, Caldwell believes, an example to all.
“In football, if you don’t have the mental toughness and the resilience to cope with setbacks, you’ve no chance,” the Latics boss added.
“Every player, whether you’re a Ronaldo or a Messi, or down in the lower leagues, you’re going to have had setbacks. You need to be ready for that and come again, and he’s done that and done very well to forge a successful career for himself.”
Wolves head into the game in eighth position, behind seventh-placed Brentford only on goal difference, three points adrift of Ipswich Town, who occupy the final play-off berth.
Anything other than a win would realistically end their play-off push, and they have already sold their full allocation in the North Stand.