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Daggers boss discusses goalkeeper battle

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 September 2014

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu

Burnett praised Cousins after debut

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett handed goalkeeper Mark Cousins his debut earlier in the week at Portsmouth but hasn’t decided yet if he will be his first choice between the sticks in the long-term.

Liam O’Brien, who had played every match before Tuesday, was dropped following his poor performance against Cambridge last weekend but Cousins failed to prevent Daggers losing 3-0 at Fratton Park.

Nevertheless, Burnett is hoping the former Colchester keeper can impress and make the number one spot his own, but the Daggers manager did have some comforting words for the dropped O’Brien.

“Mark is experienced, he has played in League One, he is 27 now and he has got his opportunity and hopefully he can take that,” said Burnett.

“Will he be given good run now? We will see. It is about whoever I think is performing, not just in games but in training as well.

“Liam is a young man and he is going to make mistakes, we have to accept that and we did when we signed him because he is still learning the game.”

Cousins had to pick the ball out of his net three times on debut but was hardly at fault for any goal, and Burnett felt the keeper did well on his first competitive start in over a year.

He praised the 27-year-old for an excellent save, a minute before Portsmouth opened the scoring in the first half, and felt Cousins did as well as he could.

Burnett added: “I thought he did well, I don’t think he had much chance with any of the three goals.

“It was an excellent save, a reaction save and it was only their first chance at goal and then they got the second chance, which was a goal.

“Sometimes you can only perform as well as what is put in front of you and I thought Mark did alright.”

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