Benson boost to play-off dreams

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE boss John Still is hopeful of having leading scorer Paul Benson available for the end of season run-in after the striker stepped up his training schedule this week, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. Benson, 28, played 45 minutes of an inter-squad

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE boss John Still is hopeful of having leading scorer Paul Benson available for the end of season run-in after the striker stepped up his training schedule this week, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

Benson, 28, played 45 minutes of an inter-squad friendly on Tuesday, and the manager admitted his return wasn't too far away.

"After the disappointment of Monday night, we did have a few bright points to come out of the week, as it allowed us to have a game between ourselves," said Still.

"That meant we could give Paul another half of football, and with a couple more games and some training in him, we could see him back for the final six or seven matches."


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Daggers have not played for two weeks after their match with Brentford was called off on Monday night, but although Still was disappointed with the cancellation, he urged his side to get over it.

"You can only control the controllables, so we have to get over that quickly and look to the next game," he said.

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"We can't look at the league table too much either and think what happens if we win here or win there.

"We need to take our remaining matches as eight separate games, and try to win each of them."

The loan window for the season slams shut today (Thursday) at 5.30pm, but after bringing Doug Loft and Jamie Guy to the club in recent weeks, Still doesn't anticipate there being anymore business.

"With Peter Gain now back, our squad looks quite strong, and I don't think there will be anything happening," he said. "There might be one or two of the younger lads going out, but that is about it."

Daggers entertain Macclesfield this weekend, and they would love a repeat of the 4-0 hammering they handed out to the Silkmen at Moss Rose back in December.

"They have always been a hard-working side, who are difficult to play against, and I imagine they will want to show that performance was a one-off," warned Still, whose Daggers side are now safe from relegation, a stark contrast to last season.

"Whatever happens this year, it has been another big step for the club," he added. "What we have achieved in the two years since coming up from the Conference never ceases to amaze me."

Will Daggers make the play-offs if Paul Benson returns? Email: sport@ilfordrecorder.co.uk

The Recorder is now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Recorder_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road.

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