Culverhouse: Daggers must learn from Newport draw
PUBLISHED: 10:03 24 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:03 24 January 2016
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Dagenham & Redbridge assistant draws on positives after letting two-goal lead slip at Exiles
After conceding a two-goal lead for the third time this season, many might find it hard to take the positives from Dagenham & Redbridge’s 2-2 draw at Newport County.
But new assistant manager Ian Culverhouse believes it will help the team improve and succeed in their bid to avoid relegation from League Two despite slipping back into the drop zone.
Christian Doidge looked to have given Daggers the perfect start against his hometown club, netting inside 48 seconds with a delightful half volley.
And the visitors looked well on the way to taking all three points back down the M4 when the ever-impressive Joe Worrall headed in an Ashley Hemmings corner in the sixth minute.
But sadly that was as good as it got for Dagenham, who played much of the remaining 84 minutes on the back foot and so it was little surprise when Jean-Christophe Ayina pulled one back for the Exiles with eight minutes to go.
By now, the east Londoners were dealing with a barrage of home attacks so it was inevitable that an equaliser would be conceded with Conor Wilkinson netting on his birthday and debut for the Welsh side.
Culverhouse admitted after the match that Daggers were extremely disappointed to let another good lead slip, having now dropped 21 points from winning positions this season, but believes it will only stand to help the team in the long run.
“The boys are flat in the dressing room and really down. We’ll look at this and analyse it, but come again stronger and stronger,” he said. “It’s little building blocks that we’re adding all the time. We’ll get stronger and stronger.”
Despite leading, Daggers rarely created a clear cut opportunity after the break and were under pressure for much of it, perhaps perfectly surmised by the hosts having 15 corners in the second half compared to none in the first.
To their credit, the visitors did look to be coping well with the majority of attacks, with Mark Cousins pulling off a number of good saves, but their clearances seemed only to reach a Newport player who would recycle possession.
And Culverhouse revealed that Daggers may possibly have to look at playing their way out of defence more in the future should they find themselves in a similar position.
“We were saying in the dressing room that the desire to defend is great, but we do need retention to get us up the field,” he added.
“That probably was what was lacking in the second half, but again the boy’s attitude and desire to put their bodies on the line, head crosses and get in the way of shots was superb.”