Still ready for tough Crewe test
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE kick off their League Two campaign with their first-ever visit to Crewe Alexandra at the weekend, writes Mike Simmonds. The Railwaymen were relegated from League One last season, but despite that, Daggers manager John Still is expecti
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE kick off their League Two campaign with their first-ever visit to Crewe Alexandra at the weekend, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.
The Railwaymen were relegated from League One last season, but despite that, Daggers manager John Still is expecting a stern test from a side he clearly admires.
"I think Crewe are a bit of a template for us," he said, about a side who made a reputation for the conveyor belt of players they produced under Dario Gradi.
"Like them, we have to produce players, as the day we stop, is the day that we have less to spend in other areas.
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"I will watch them this week and then prepare the best we can for what will be one of our tougher away games this season."
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Who will partner Paul Benson up front is still a conundrum that faces Still as Josh Scott is suspended, Mark Nwokeji is injured, while Wesley Thomas is only just returning from a knock picked up in pre-season.
That leaves Jon Nurse, who played alongside Benson against Orient on Saturday, and Graeme Montgomery, who took the role in midweek against Birmingham.
"I experimented with Graeme against Birmingham, which was a bit unfair as it was really tough opposition, but I think he can play there," said Still.
"The one thing about 'Nursey' is that he's a handful, he creates things for other players and he knows how we play."
The other questions that Still is faced with, is who he goes with in midfield. The last two friendlies have seen Peter Gain employed on the left, Danny Green on the right, with Stuart Thurgood and Solomon Taiwo in the centre.
"Because I lost the experience we had last season, I have tried to include that," said Still. "The midfield four that played the last couple of games are my most experienced, and that might be something I need early on.
"I haven't made my mind up yet though, we will do some work this week and that will probably push me in a direction."
Daggers are also in action on Tuesday night, when they travel to Championship side Cardiff City for their Carling Cup first round tie.
The Bluebirds have just moved into a brand new 27,000 all-seater stadium, so it's a tie that Still is licking his lips for.
"I think it's a terrific game for players and supporters," said the boss.
"It's a fantastic stadium and will be a good opportunity for the lads to pit their wits against Championship opposition.
"It's one of, if not the toughest draw we could have had, but it was tough when we went to Peterborough and Southend in cup competitions and won there, so who knows?"
How will Daggers get on at Crewe this weekend? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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