JULIAN Dicks steps straight into the cauldron of a Merseyside derby
with instructions from his new manager not to change his style.
The former West Ham full-back, who was swapped for Mike Marsh and
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David Burrows in a deal worth #2.5m, takes his place in a formidable
defence alongside Graeme Souness's other hard-man signing, Neil Ruddock.
Dicks, 25, is not worried about his reputation -- he has been sent off
eight times -- nor the fact that the majority of the 40,000 Goodison
Park crowd will be on his back.
He said: ''I'm not worried at all. When I was at Birmingham, I was
only 17 when I made my debut against Aston Villa, so I know what derbies
are all about.'' Dicks revealed that Souness has warned him about his
lack of self discipline, but hasn't ordered him to change his style.
''He said go out and play the way you usually play. Obviously we
talked about my disciplinary record, but that's all over and done with
now.'' Meanwhile, Souness tried to avoid comparisons with Ruddock who
also joined the club with a ''wild man'' reputation.
''I think -- like those who have witnessed Ruddock since he's been
here -- he's a very good footballer. He's just got a reputation for
getting into trouble which he feels he's gone some way to sorting out,''
''He's a good footballer, the same as Ruddock, and sometimes people
forget to write about that bit.''
Meanwhile, Portsmouth striker Lee Chapman has joined the Hammers in a
Chapman, 33, completed his surprise move last night. The former Leeds
striker rejected the London side in the summer in favour of Portsmouth
-- but is believed to have been unhappy about travelling to the south
coast from Yorkshire.