Cousins: Daggers inspired by Everton trip
PUBLISHED: 09:30 12 January 2016
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Dagenham & Redbridge stopper says team can use playing at iconic venue as motivational tool for rest of season
Dagenham & Redbridge goalkeeper Mark Cousins hopes the experience of playing at Goodison Park helps propel the team not only up the table, but also up the Football League in the coming seasons.
Cousins was between the sticks on his 29th birthday as Daggers failed to pull off a famous FA Cup shock, losing 2-0 away to Premier League side Everton after goals from Arouna Kone and Kevin Mirallas.
Prior to the game, Dagenham also had a session at the training ground of the Toffees’ divisional rivals West Bromwich Albion the day before the cup tie.
Both venues boast facilities that are a step up from what Daggers have become used to this season, and Cousins hopes that will spur the team, and the players, on to greater things.
“When you get a taste of playing at great grounds, you always want to do it every week,” said Cousins. “The step up to the Premier League is a big ask, but the higher up you go in the leagues you are going to visit better grounds.
“That should be every players’ motivation to try, no matter what age you are, to play at the highest level. I think we have a few players that can go higher.”
Despite the result and their failure to register a single shot of target, Daggers can be proud of their display at Everton as they more than held their own against a matchday squad filled with international footballers.
Cousins himslef was not worked in goal as often as he probably anticipated and he believes that is down to the visitors effectively implementing their game plan which frustrated the Toffees.
“I think we’re extremely proud of our display,” he added. “When you come to a Premier League team, you’re not going to get many chances, but I don’t think we gave too many away either.
“We managed to be solid defensively and they had to pass the ball from side to side. That was our game plan, to keep them doing that and I thought over the 90 minutes we performed excellently.”