Taylor promises to give Daggers fans a ‘committed’ team
PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 June 2018
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New Daggers boss urges fans to get behind the squad he will assemble ahead of new National League season
New Dagenham & Redbridge boss Peter Taylor has promised to deliver the fans a committed team this season and has urged the club’s supporters to get behind the squad.
With Daggers currently in severe financial difficulty, it is expected to be a season of struggle for the Victoria Road outfit.
That contrasts with the past two seasons, with the Essex club harboured hopes of winning promotion from the National League.
Taylor says the initial aim for the club will be to avoid relegation, something he acknowledges fans will not want to hear, admitting supporters always want a more ambitious target than that.
But the one-time England caretaker manager believes that, with the fans’ backing, the squad he is eventually able to assemble might be able to have a relatively successful campaign.
“Every time we take the field, we’re going to try to win the match, but I’m being realistic with our overall aims,” said the 65-year-old.
“Because, unfortunately, we had an individual who was putting money into the club which helped the budget and allowed the club to have more players and perhaps better players, but all of a sudden we haven’t go that, that’s going to weaken the team.
“Slowly but surely, we have to rebuild that team in certain areas. I’m being honest and realistically to stay in the league is the first priority, which supporters might not want to hear and I know they might say we should instead aim for the play-offs and do what Boreham Wood did last year.
“It’s all possible and I won’t be not saying that to my players, but being realistic with the changes we’re having to go through at the minute, I would just love for the supporters to be very patient with us.
“The same rules apply: if they see a team that’s not committed, they can tell them what they think of them, don’t worry about that, and I’ll be doing the same.
“However, I’m very confident that we’ll have a good, young, committed team that they’ll be quite pleased with.”
Taylor took on the role with Daggers in June after previous boss John Still stepped down, before taking over at National League rivals Barnet.
The 65-year-old arrived at Victoria Road with full knowledge of the club’s financial situation, with Daggers’ money worries well documented over the past few months.
Having achieved so much in football, both as a player and a manager, Taylor could have opted for a simpler life than taking on the Daggers job.
But after nearly a year out of the club game after leaving his post as Gillingham director of football last September, the 65-year-old is thrilled to be back involved in the game he loves.
“I probably did think I would end up at a higher level than the National League, but I’ve said all along that I’m very fortunate that 95 per cent of my working life has been involved in football and at all levels,” he added.
“I loved working at the highest level and with the absolute best players with the best pitches and best equipment, but I also enjoyed my time at clubs like Dartford and Dover Athletic and other clubs where things are not so right and you have to adjust yourself.
“That’s the situation we’re in at Dagenham, but I’ll guarantee I’ll be as committed as I’ve ever been and I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can.”
Taylor has been joined at Daggers by assistant manager Terry Harris, who has a long association with the Essex club.
It’s not the first time the pair have worked together, and Taylor expects it to be a successful partnership once again.
“Terry knows what he wants on the training ground and I know what I want and between us we’ll get that sorted out,” said the former Leicester City boss.
“We’ll share the load, I have no doubt about that. Terry knows how to organise and I know how to organise a football team.
“We have a fitness coach coming in twice a week, which will be good news, and we’re hopefully Jim Stannard coming back two or three times a week as well.”