Defender Smith happy to be back in Daggers side after spell on sidelines

Nathan Smith of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Nathan Smith of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge defender Nathan Smith is pleased to be back in first-team contention after netting on his return from injury last weekend.

The Jamaican defender netted in the 22nd minute to help inspire the Daggers to a 3-0 win over Maidstone United at The Gallagher Stadium.

And the 32-year-old praised the club staff for helping him get back to full fitness – having been injured on his debut in the 2-1 win over Harrogate Town on Saturday, October 27 just two days after joining.

“I’m just happy to be back in the team,” he said.

“Obviously I’ve been working hard whilst I’ve not been in the team. I’ve been working with the physio John Gowens and fitness coaches Neil Withington and Raj Soni-Tricker.”

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The former Yeovil Town man was delighted to get off the mark for the club and insists watching Angelo Balanta from the sidelines in recent weeks helped him get on the end of the attacker’s cross into the box.

“When I saw Angelo with the ball, I’ve watched the games during the season, so I’ve seen what Angelo can do,” he added. “It’s always a gamble but there you go – I’ve got the goal.”

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Smith insists he felt at home playing in a central defensive role instead of his natural left-back position.

“I’ve played a lot of games as a centre-back the last couple of seasons anyway and I’m happy to play anywhere on that backline,” he said.

The experienced defender did however feel the Daggers could have been a lot better against Maidstone but picking up the win was important.

“We know we could’ve done better and we know we’re going to work on that as well, but the main objective was getting the win,” he said.

“We got the win and we know this week we’re going to up our work rate again.”

Peter Taylor’s side now face an important run of fixtures starting with a home match against strugglers Aldershot Town this weekend, before heading away to Maidenhead United the following week.

But Smith says they must just keep taking it game by game.

“We take it game by game, we know what our next focus is, and that’s what we’re going to work on,” he said.

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