Daggers boss Burnett relieved to avoid Exeter repeat against Bristol Rovers
16:18 12 March 2014
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Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett was glad lightning didn’t strike twice as he saw his side hold on for a well-earned three points in the 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers last night.
In a similar turn of events to Saturday at Exeter, they trailed 1-0 after John-Joe O’Toole’s seventh minute opener.
But Charlton loanee Ade Azeez levelled before the break and scored a second after 58 minutes to put the visitors in front as they held a 2-1 win for the second time in four days.
There was then five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the match, another similarity to the game at Exeter on Saturday.
Most importantly though the Daggers held on this time round, and Burnett admitted to a few nervy moments on the sidelines.
“I couldn’t believe that he had put five minutes up again,” said Burnett.
“I was praying that they didn’t score because sitting on this line I can feel my heart pumping and it’s not good for my health.
“But I’ll be really pleased when we get to the 85th minute and we are two or three up at some point. I still won’t relax until the final whistle though.”
It’s not the first time Burnett has seen his side fall behind this season but yet again he was delighted with the character shown by the Daggers.
And he admitted some teams could have buckled after the frustration of losing out on another three away points late on against the Grecians at the weekend.
“I think we worked extremely hard tonight,” said Burnett. “I changed the team from Saturday. I said I was regardless of what the score was against Exeter.
“We had some fresh legs in there and I thought everyone that came in did fantastically well.
“The players have showed brilliant character and that could have hurt them on Saturday so late on.
“It could have almost felt like a defeat but we instilled the belief and they have that too.”
Burnett reserved special praise for goal hero Azeez, who had failed to score in six appearances for the Daggers going into the game against the Gas.
And now he is off and running, he hopes there is more to come from the 20-year-old who he feels has received somewhat harsh treatment from some individuals.
“I am delighted for the young boy because he works so hard,” said Burnett. “He is still learning the game and has got things to improve on like they all have but he’s doing brilliant. He deserved his goals tonight.
“I hope it’s the start for Ade,” he added. “Certain people I had heard criticised him a little bit but he’s a young boy he’s 19-20 and our front two are both the same.
“We are playing against players that are experienced and played 100s of league games and they’ve been great.”