Daggers boss hoping scouting trip pays off
10:30 12 December 2014
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Burnett watches Tranmere Rovers in FA Cup action but bug hits the ranks at Victoria Road
Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett is well aware of the threat Tranmere Rovers will pose on Saturday after watching them in the FA Cup last weekend.
The Merseyside outfit faced fellow League Two rivals Oxford United in the second round at the Kassam Stadium.
The tie ended in a 2-2 draw and continued their good form since the appointment of former Port Vale manager Micky Adams on October 16, and Burnett is sure of a stern test at Victoria Road.
“I went and watched them against Oxford on Saturday,” he said. “It was a decent game and I have an idea of how they will line up. We know their strengths and weaknesses, but it will be tough.
“Any side prepared by Micky Adams will provide a tough challenge so we are well aware of how difficult the game will be.”
Daggers were not in competitive action at the weekend, but Burnett’s side have recorded two excellent two-goal victories against Carlisle and Bury in their last two league outings.
They will hope to take that momentum into Saturday’s clash against Rovers and another home win would also give Daggers a healthy nine-point cushion over the relegation zone.
Burnett hopes they can keep up their good recent form and added: “There is still a long way to go – about 26 games left – so there will be a lot of twists and turns to go yet this season.
“Hopefully we don’t lose any of that momentum. When you are winning games you want to carry on playing, but it was FA Cup weekend so we didn’t have a game and we gave a few players some rest period.”
Daggers did play a training match on Saturday against a Tottenham Hotspur XI, which included England international Kyle Walker.
Various Spurs youngsters trained with the League Two club for two days last week as well.
“It was really good to play against Tottenham,” said Burnett.
“It was a good work out for us and we had them in training.
“All the first-team players that haven’t played too much and some of those that have played this season featured in the training match against Spurs.
“Rhys Murphy, Jamie Cureton, Patrick Agyemang, Matt Partridge, Scott Doe, Ayo Obileye and Alex Jakubiak all played, so we had a strong enough team out.”
Daggers might have been stronger had a virus not gone through the camp last week.
Burnett confirmed up to seven first-teamers were ill, adding: “We had an illness throughout the camp, seven first-team players and eight scholars were ill.
“Sean Shields, Billy Bingham, Ashley Hemmings, Abu Ogogo, Joss Labadie, Ade Yusuff and Briah Saah were ill, but they have all come back in now.”
Captain Ogogo is back from illness, but still out injured. “He is progressing and running in straight lines, but isn’t available for Saturday,” added Burnett.