Still thrilled as his Daggers are tops!
MANAGER John Still couldn t contain his pride after seeing Dagenham & Redbridge top the League Two table after Saturday s battling 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley. With previous leaders Bournemouth drawing at Bradford and Rochdale being beaten at home by Ch
by MIKE SIMMONDS
MANAGER John Still couldn't contain his pride after seeing Dagenham & Redbridge top the League Two table after Saturday's battling 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley.
With previous leaders Bournemouth drawing at Bradford and Rochdale being beaten at home by Chesterfield, it put Daggers on top of the pile, albeit on goal difference from the Cherries.
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"It's silly and childlike but I was so pleased that Dagenham & Redbridge supporters could wake up on Sunday morning, turn the teletext on and see we're top of the league, read the papers and we're top of the league, it's progress and it's fantastic," enthused Still.
"I think everyone's aware it is the end of season that the league counts.
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"We were top after five or six games, but with 15 or 16 games gone, if we never go top of the league again, I think it's testament to what this club has achieved.
"What's pleased the staff the most is that we've had to create another team.
"All the players left in the summer and then we had the sales of (Solomon) Taiwo and (Scott) Griffiths.
"In a real a short period of time we've had to create another team, and that's what made it a bit sweeter."
A goal from skipper Mark Arber gave Daggers all three points at Stanley on Saturday, and Still was delighted how his much-changed side kept a clean sheet, especially after they were hammered 6-1 at Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup last time out.
Loanees Adam Miller and Nana Ofori-Twumasi were both thrust in for their first starts, while Matt Lockwood made only his second appearance.
In fact, apart from Arber, the back four was completely changed as Will Antwi missed out, meaning Scott Doe came in at centre half, with Ofori-Twumasi and Lockwood the full backs.
"We re-organised the back four before the game and I did think we could fall down on organisation," admitted Still, who also switched Jon Nurse up front to partner Paul Benson.
"To keep a clean sheet in the match, going in with a defence we hadn't done any work with beforehand, was a remarkable achievement.
"What really pleased me was we played at Huddersfield, who showed again on Saturday how good they are by thrashing Wycombe, with Nurse and Doe at full back.
"They never questioned doing it for the club, never looked at me to say 'it's not my position', but just got in with it.
"On Saturday, they were in their right positions and they both were fantastic.
"Nurse's workrate was terrific, while 'Doey' was absolutely immense.
"He made one mistake in the the second half, but got up to redeem himself and clear off the line, he was outstanding.
The victory was Daggers first on their travels since the 1-0 success at Burton Albion almost two months ago, and as far as Still was confirmed, it typified everything that his side is about.
"I thought it was a terrific away performance, full of Dagenham stuff, grit, determination, effort, organisation, all the dirty words of football, but we've come up with it," he said.
"It was a weird game, I had the feeling that if it hadn't been too big a distance in travelling, they might not have played it.
"The referee said beforehand, if we have any more rain it could be off, we did have some more, but it wasn't torrential.
"It was a very difficult pitch for both teams, the end we defended in the second half was atrocious.
"Late in the game the wind came up unbelievably which didn't help and we found it hard to get hold of the ball.
"We defended very well though, 'Robbo' (Tony Roberts) made one terrific save, but 'Benno' (Paul Benson) had two clear efforts and we thought we had a penalty too.
"As an away team, we probably deserved to win as although they had a lot of the ball, they never really stretched us."
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