Grimsby v Daggers MATCH PREVIEW

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE will be up against a Grimsby Town side still aiming to earn a first win for new manager Neil Woods at the weekend.


DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE will be up against a Grimsby Town side still aiming to earn a first win for new manager Neil Woods at the weekend.

The Mariners relieved Mike Newell of his services in October after a year in charge, during which time he only won 13 from 54 matches, losing 29 in that time.

Youth-team coach Woods was put in temporary charge at Blundell Park, and despite a number of managers throwing their name into the hat, including former boss Russell Slade, recently sacked by Brighton, the board decided to stick with Woods.

In the eight games he has overseen, his side have drawn four and lost four, so they will be out to taste victory for the first time since September 19, 11 games ago, when they won 2-0 at Torquay United.

They have gone almost three months without a win at home, and also crashed out of the FA Cup 2-0 in front of their own fans to Blue Square South side Bath City.

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On taking the job, Woods, who made over 200 appearances for the Mariners during his playing career, said: "I'm delighted but I did take my time to throw my hat into the ring.

"I've a lot of affection for the club. I've taken my time and I'm very confident we can turn it around."

History is on Daggers' side in this fixture as since becoming a Football League club they haven't lost to Grimsby, winning two and drawing two.

Last season, Jon Nurse's strike secured a 1-1 draw at Blundell Park, while in 2007-08, John Still's side enjoyed an emphatic 4-1 triumph, thanks to a double for Dave Rainford and goals from Ben Strevens and Ross Smith.

Daggers boss John Still could decide to change his team around after their midweek thrashing at the hands of Aldershot.

Josh Scott and Stuart Thurgood could earn recalls if both are fit, while Scott Doe is available after suspension.

A poor defensive showing on Tuesday night might also see Still opt to bring in Abu Ogogo, who impressed before a red card at Macclesfield saw him miss three games.

Striker Wes Thomas sits out the last match of his suspension, while Gavyn Dayes could well be on the bench again.

Meanwhile, Mariners centre-half Rob Atkinson is hoping his side can hit form and use Daggers 5-2 defeat against Aldershot to their advantage.

"Their defeat against Aldershot could work both ways," he said.

"Dagenham could still be on a downer or they could be looking to take it out on us with a thumping of their own.

"It would be a good game for us to come back and answer our critics about our home form, and then hopefully we'd be able to build on it and improve.

"We all know what Dagenham are about. They tend to lump it really but it is effective and it works for them and they aren't fourth in the league for no reason.

"It's a formula that works for them and it will be hard work and a tough game.

"But to get a result we need to concentrate on ourselves and go about our business, and hopefully we've got enough quality in our squad to do that."

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