Dagenham & Redbridge: Daniel Sparkes still believes Daggers can feature in National League title race
PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 January 2018
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Winger confident Essex club can challenge for top spot this term
Daniel Sparkes believes Dagenham & Redbridge can still win the National League title after coming through a tricky patch of form.
John Still’s men ended a run of four league games without a win on Saturday by beating Hartlepool United 4-2.
It was a much needed victory for Daggers, though there is still work to do if the Essex club are to catch leaders Macclesfield Town.
Sparkes, though, has faith the Victoria Road outfit can still have a say in the title race this term.
“There’s still a long way to go in the season. If we can put together a good run, we can be right up there near the top,” he said after the win over Pools.
“We had a sticky run recently and didn’t pick up the points we wanted to over Christmas, but the performance against Hartlepool shows we’re more than capable of winning this league.
“That’s what we are aiming for – number one.”
The next six weeks could be crucial for Daggers if they are to mount a serious tilt at the title.
Before the end of February, the Essex side face games against Sutton United, Aldershot Town and Dover Athletic, all of whom are currently positioned in the top six.
But Sparkes is confident Still’s side can come through a potentially gruelling run smiling.
“Our track record this season shows we have been better against the teams near the top,” added the 26-year-old.
“We’ve beaten teams who were top of the table when we played them and we can do that again in the coming weeks.
“If we can start taking points off of those teams, we can start building a run. I have no doubt we’ll be up there.”
Against Hartlepool, Sparkes opened his account for Daggers by netting twice in the triumph.
The brace was the winger’s first goals for the Essex club since joining from Braintree Town in the summer.
And the 26-year-old was delighted to finally break his club for the Victoria Road outfit.
“I pride myself on assists, but I like to get the odd goal as well,” added Sparkes.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m starting to play regularly now and the performances will get better and better.
“I scored two against Hartlepool, but I maybe could have had another. It was positive for me, but also positive for the team.”