The tension around the club is palpable.

After two weeks without a game, the Daggers put in a dismal display in the FA Trophy to be knocked out by lower-league opposition in a cup competition - at the first hurdle - for the second time this season. 

It was the lack of quality and care that once again raised eyebrows, as was alluded to in Ben Strevens’ post-match interview which again raised more questions than it provided answers.

If there were rumblings there were goings-on off the pitch, they were amplified by the manager in his honest and damning assessment of the match, but also the squad and direction of the club as a whole. 

Strevens seemed to speak of the club’s changing ambition, of how if we are not to be competing for play-off places and promotion in the league, there must at least be a cup run ‘to give supporters something to smile about.’

To think he was on course to do neither, the disappointment he felt, the admission he felt let down, was difficult to see in that interview. 

The interview ended up providing more talking points than the match itself, which was just concerning on so many levels, from the lack of desire and alarming lack of quality against lower-league opposition. 

The conclusion that could be drawn was clarified by Strevens who suggested there were some people who did not want to be at the club and fight in that ‘Daggers spirit’ he placed such value on at the start of his tenure.

His ultimatum was simple: "If people don’t want to play for Dagenham & Redbridge Football club, they don’t have to play for Dagenham & Redbridge Football club."

Yet it was the phrase that preceded that ultimatum that brought the most alarm, one that left open infinite interpretations and so without clarification leaves great concern, the statement by Strevens that “there are things going on externally that people don’t know about”. 

This quote is yet to be explained and has brought concern once again of the lack of transparency at the top, but may also have been a comment on the focus of players being elsewhere. Either way, the speculation should be ended by the club, because currently it’s on track to distract from where the focus should be - on the pitch. 

It is concerning that there appear to be players not willing to play for the manager, or the club for that matter, and some would suggest that he has ‘lost the dressing room’ in that respect. However, I don’t see that as the case, rather I see a lack of quality in key areas and crucially as Strevens himself noted, ‘a lack of leaders’. 

Where we go from here is unclear, but I firmly believe that sacking Strevens would not change the direction of the team without significant investment and restructuring at the club.

There is certainly nobody who cares more about the club than Ben Strevens, perhaps there are better managers, but I doubt they’re within our reach. 

Therefore, it is incumbent upon us supporters to get behind the manager and the team when they need the support most. That’s not to pretend everything is fine, it’s to give full backing to the team out on the pitch, and if that commitment is not reciprocated I’d keep an eye on the exit door following Strevens’ words on Saturday. 

Next up, where a reaction is once again required, is up against Wealdstone in front of a Victoria Road crowd that will be anticipating a big response and three points. 

Until next week, Come On You Daggers!