Luke Howell urges Dagenham & Redbridge to keep feet on the ground ahead of National League trip to Bromley
14:00 23 September 2016
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Daggers midfielder knows only way to stay top is to keep on winning
For the first time since the second matchday of the current season, Dagenham & Redbridge will head into a game at the summit of the National League when they visit Bromley on Saturday.
A 2-0 triumph at home to North Ferriby United — Daggers’ third in a row in the league — saw them reach the top after previous leaders Lincoln City were beaten 2-1 at home by Barrow.
The Essex club now lead the way, but only by a solitary point from Forest Green Rovers, and it remains an incredibly tight division with the top nine teams split by just six points.
With so many rivals so close to them, Daggers know they can ill-afford to rest on their laurels at Hayes Lane this weekend if they wish to remain top, something which midfielder Luke Howell is keen to stress.
“It’s nice to be top, but it’s also nice to be playing as well as we are,” said Howell.
“We had another clean sheet against North Ferriby, which is important and we’ve had a lot this year.
“We’re looking solid all over, it’s just important that we kick on and keep our consistency, that will be the key.”
Daggers will head to Hayes Lane chasing a fourth league win in a row, an excellent run of form after suffering back-to-back defeats against Sutton United and Boreham Wood.
They will, however, also be looking to improve upon a slightly questionable defensive record on the road, with just one clean sheet from their first five trips this season compared to five from six at home.
Howell, though, is not overly concerned with the lack of shutouts on Daggers’ travels, instead noting that all that matters is that Daggers do enough to win.
“The main thing is to get the three points. It will be a tough game, I know a few of their players having played with them before,” he added.
“There are a couple who have been at Dagenham before and they can score goals.
“They’re going to be dangerous, so it’s important to keep it tight at the back and hopefully get three points there as well.”
Howell was back among the goals for Daggers last week as he came off the bench to net the second in the success at home to the Villagers.
Oliver Hawkins had nodded in his ninth of the season in the first half, before Howell rounded off the win in style with the first goal of his second spell.
But when asked whether he thought his strike would boost his hopes of starting at Bromley,
the midfielder chuckled, before adding: “We’re picking up points, which is the main thing, and I’m ready whenever I’m needed.”
If he comes off the bench to net again at Hayes Lane this weekend, it may not be too long before Howell starts a game for Daggers once again.