Football - Philliskirk happy with comeback

Oldham caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk cut a satisfied figure after overseeing his second comeback of the day.

PA Sport

Philliskirk, who was thrust into the Latics hotseat after Paul Dickov's resignation a fortnight ago, looked on from the sidelines as Matt Smith's last-gasp equaliser earned a 2-2 draw and an FA Cup fifth-round replay against Everton.

But hours earlier the 48-year-old undertook his day job of youth team coach against Rochdale in Salford, surroundings far removed from the white-hot atmosphere that greeted David Moyes' side at Boundary Park.

"We drew at Rochdale one-all," he explained. "It's been a good day, Rochdale are a good team. They're older than us, very good. We were losing there and came back to get an equaliser in the second half. There were about 20 or 30 there. All the parents of all the boys go and there's one man and his dog walking around the outside.

"From the club's perspective this (the Everton result) is massive. For me personally, seeing the development of those young players - you take this any way you like - is as important as seeing that display there."

Philliskirk stepped up to help out with first-team duties and the reserves when three members of Dickov's backroom staff were placed on gardening leave on New Year's Eve. Those staff are yet to be replaced, leaving him at the centre of a plate-spinning act in the wake of the former Scotland international's departure.

As such, Philliskirk fully appreciates the benefit this result gives to a club struggling amid the harsh realities of an npower League One relegation battle, cutting through the heady dose of FA Cup romanticism.

"Everyone was jumping about around me and I was just smiling to myself," he said of the rapturous scenes that followed Smith's equaliser. "I'm under no illusions about what it means to the club financially and at the end of the day that's the most important thing.

"Simon (Corney, chairman), I'm sure that he won't like me saying this, has struggled through over the last few years and he keeps the club afloat. He works ever so hard with the board. It's troubled times for everybody, there's no money about. The team haven't done that well this year and attendances have fallen.

"All in all, hopefully it generates a feel-good factor, it'll encourage people to come back but, more than anything, it's what that means to the club - another game, at Goodison, possibly on tv again."

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