Cousins backs kids to do well for Daggers
16:00 11 February 2016
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Dagenham & Redbridge keeper has confidence in young centre-back pairing ahead of Barnet clash
At 29, Dagenham & Redbridge keeper Mark Cousins is far from being the oldest member of a squad that contains Jamie Cureton and Andre Boucaud.
But the former Colchester United man has had to take on a leadership role in recent weeks with a relatively fresh defence in front of him.
Against both Cambridge United and Wycombe Wanderers in the last week, Daggers fielded a back four with an average age of just 21.5.
Joe Worrall and Dominic Hyam lined up at centre-back with just three professional games between them and a combined age of 39.
While Worrall did concede the penalty which led to the only goal in a 1-0 defeat, he did well alongside Hyam who was making his debut.
And Cousins has backed the duo to carry on impressing as Daggers look to pull themselves closer League Two safety with a win against Barnet on Saturday.
“The two lads did fantastic and they have to be so confident about their performances,” said Cousins.
“They came into a team, Joe has been here longer and put in really good shifts, but Dom has come in so soon.
“Having two centre-backs, they’re enthusiastic. They want to win the ball, they want to impress and you just try to guide them through the game as much as possible. Hopefully with the way they have been playing, that will continue.”
The young duo look set to continue at the back as Daggers host the Bees in a London derby this weekend.
When the sides met at The Hive in September, Cousins watched on from the bench as his side lost 3-1.
But the stopper is likely to feature against the Bees this time around as Daggers look to boost their survivial bid.
And being the oldest player at the back, Cousins says he is more than happy to guide the younger members through.
“You don’t always have to be a shouter on the pitch, but in the dressing room you have to speak to them and give them little pointers,” he said.
“I’ve probably come up against most of the players we play against, so I know what strikers teams have and can give our boys advice.
“You just give them that heads up and it is nice to be able to guide younger players and help them as much as you