Wigan v Doncaster - the Man City connection

Kevin Austin of Lincoln (centre) beats Paul Dickov to the header as Uwe Rosler (right) looks-on during Man City's Coca Cola Cup match in 1996
Kevin Austin of Lincoln (centre) beats Paul Dickov to the header as Uwe Rosler (right) looks-on during Man City's Coca Cola Cup match in 1996
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THEY’RE banging goals in for fun both home and abroad, and being tipped to win an unprecedented quadruple.

Favourites to win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup, with a mouth-watering Champions League round-of-16 clash with Barcelona to look forward to.

Yes, things are certainly looking up for Manchester City.

With the injection of foreign capital, they are now major players on the world stage.

However, all that might not have happened but for one goal, scored nearly 15 years ago, but which will never be forgotten in the blue half of Manchester.

Paul Dickov’s last-gasp equaliser at Wembley in the Second Division play-off final against Gillingham is regarded by one Blue legend as the most important in the club’s history.

And as Uwe Rosler comes face to face with his old mate Paul Dickov tomorrow (Saturday) when Latics face Doncaster, it’s sure to be another emotional reunion.

“It’s always good to see Paul again – he’s a very good friend of mine,” admitted the Wigan boss.

“I enjoyed playing alongside him and, of course, without that goal, City wouldn’t be where they are now.

“They would have come to this level eventually, but it would have taken a lot longer.

“To come out of that league was absolutely important at that time, and to also create interest for potential takeovers in the years to come. It was crucial to win promotion that year, and a lot of it was down to Paul and that goal.”

Rosler and Dickov have remained close since their City days – including their children turning out for the same football team in Cheadle Hulme – and have supported each other as they both embarked on the managerial ladder.

Their paths to their current employment could not have been more different.

Dickov spent three years at Oldham before moving to Doncaster last summer.

Rosler, on the other hand, cut his teeth in Norway at Lillestrom, Viking and Molde before returning to England three years ago at Brentford.

Both have worked their way up to the Championship, with Rovers currently battling the drop and Latics on the edge of the play-off picture.

And while they will be going all-out to take the spoils tomorrow, the German admits they’ll be catching up after the game – hopefully after a Wigan win.

“We’ll talk football, about the game, and about the general situation at our clubs,” Rosler revealed.

“We’ll maybe talk about how we can help each other, and about ambitions to meet up properly.

“That doesn’t always happen for whatever reason but it’s always nice to see him.”

Despite both having reputations for being animated in the technical area, Rosler says there is no chance of things getting out of hand.

“No, I would never argue with Dicky, and Dicky would never argue with me,” he said. “We will both argue with the fourth official, but never with each other.

“He is a very good guy to have around, I like him a lot.

“On the pitch he was so fired up, but I don’t mind that at all.

“I would like some of my players to have the same attitude as Paul.”

Both Rosler and Dickov have retained cult status among City supporters for their do-or-die attitude towards the cause - and something the Latics boss, for one, is clearly proud of.

“We were both decent players, albeit different styles,” he recognised.

“What we had in common was we were both very committed to the cause.

“That’s why we are still regarded by the fans at City.

“Paul gave it his all and I gave it my all, and that’s why we have such status to this day.”