KEITH Curle hopes tomorrow's derby at Rochdale will be just the tonic to avoid a Carabao Cup hangover.

Latics suffered their heaviest defeat of the season - and the biggest of Curle's career - when they were beaten 7-0 by Premier League newcomers Brentford on Tuesday.

Now as they turn their attentions back to league action, the head coach feels the added incentive of a derby is just what the club needs to help it bounce back, and prove that last weekend's goalless draw at home to Hartlepool were the green shoots of a recovery after dreadful start in League Two.

"On the back end of a cup game when you've played against a team that's operated in the top echelons of the English pyramid, then back to basics and back to your bread and butter stuff, there's nothing better than a local derby," said Curle, who having played for Bristol Rovers, Bristol City, Wimbledon, Sheffield United and arguably most famously Manchester City, knows a thing or two about them.

"I've played in a lot of derbies - Manchester derby, London derby, Sheffield derby, Bristol derby and enjoyed them all when you win."

Having said that, his favourite of them all was the one he never tasted victory in.

"I'd probably say playing in the Manchester derby even though unfortunately I was never on the winning team. Had a couple of draws but never beat United," he recalled.

"Eric Cantona used to be my next door neighbour and the only time back then that City used to beat United was in my back garden, when (his son) Raphael Cantona and my lad Thomas used to play and City used to beat United all the time then!

"He (Cantona) was probably the most frustrating player because he wasn't involved in the game for 90 minutes.

"It was the crucial moments where he was always available and he had that little bit extra. But he was playing in a team where other people were doing his work for him and if we had the ball, Eric's duty was to go and find space for when they won it back and hurt teams on the counter attack.

"It's very difficult to make a player like that because, ideally, a player of his stature you want to get close to him and you want to affect him, but very difficult when he's playing a role that dictates he gets it when he wants it."

Curle does not consider games more important than others - with the position that Latics are in they are all vital.

But he hopes the derby element can be the added incentive to turn a corner.

"I want the players to go out and perform. Every game I want them to go out with pride and passion. There's an added spice because it's a local derby," he said.

"Your local derby you want your fans to have something to shout about. Things aren't going our way but if we go there and go and compete and beat Rochdale... will it mend all the things that are going on? No. But it will certainly help.

"Can the players give it any extra? The players have got to do what needs to be done to win a game of football, and sometimes it's the horrible side of the game.

"I've got players who have got ability and on their day they can be matchwinners, but we've got to make sure that we go out with the mentality of 'we're going to compete'."