Still: Daggers need to use their heads
10:40 17 February 2016
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Dagenham & Redbridge boss urges team to play smarter in bid to beat drop
John Still believes Dagenham & Redbridge must start using their heads more if they are to drag themselves out of the relegation zone in League Two over the coming weeks.
After the midweek games saw fellow strugglers York City move out of the bottom two with a 2-0 home win over Exeter City, Daggers are now six points adrift if safety at the foot of the table.
Saturday’s loss at home to Barnet made it four defeats in their last five league games for the east Londoners, taking just one point from a possible 15 while those around them have been picking up vital wins.
And while Daggers boss Still says he is happy with his team’s work rate, he knows they must be smarter in their play if they are to stay in the Football League for a 10th successive season.
“I can’t fault how hard people work, but it’s working with your head as well as your body,” said Still. “That’s the challenge now and one we’ve got to live up to.
“We can mope and be disappointed, or we can get back into it and work as hard as we can. I think it’s a mental thing we’re working with, but that’s part and parcel of the job.”
Still has also been unable to arrest Daggers woeful home form with the club just one of three teams in the top eight tiers of English football spanning 16 divisions that have not won at home, along with Bashley and New Mills of the Northern Leagues.
The club’s form at Victoria Road is so bad that tomorrow will mark 300 days since Daggers last won in front of home fans which was a 4-0 defeat of Acrrington Stanley in their final home game of last season.
And Still is at a loss to explain why Daggers are struggling when they have home advantage, knowing turning it around is crucial to any hopes the team have of staying up.
“When we work in training, they work so hard and diligently. They’re so focussed and everything we ask, they’re doing it,” said Still.
“They have to come on matchday and produce the same levels. That’s not always the same levels of ability, it’s the same levels of concentration, discipline and commitment.
“It’s all of the different levels and I think at the moment, I don’t know if they fear playing at home, but it’s their job!”