Fans column: Daggers must now be brave with nothing to lose

Scott Wilson of Dagenham and Redbridge scores the first goal for his team and celebrates during Dage

Scott Wilson of Dagenham and Redbridge celebrates finding the back of the net - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Redemption. That was the keyword going into this week as the team looked to begin to put right the ‘embarrassment’ of the previous Tuesday and ultimately put it behind them.

However, the Daggers were denied this opportunity on Saturday at the last hour as the Victoria Road pitch was deemed unplayable – just 60 minutes before the proposed kick off against Hartlepool.

That extra time to prepare was much-needed by all accounts; following that defeat to Notts County. A defeat that owners, supporters and the under-fire manager demanded a response from.

I felt that this imperative to put in a wholly-improved display would see a positive result, but by the same token, I knew all too well what a good outfit Bromley were.

A workmanlike Daggers display left Bromley with little room to play. For the first time in a while, I felt comfortable watching Dagenham, with few scares from our defenders. We seemed to really take the game to the opposition and that was pleasing - especially as we got the 1-0 victory to go alongside!

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On the defenders, I have been quick to criticise them this season – justifiably on the whole – but they were dominant on Tuesday and that is crucial to the team’s success.

But they weren’t the only players defending as the attackers were lauded, rightly so, for their relentless running up top and defending from the front – Wilson and Saunders. The former got Man of the Match for his efforts.

Griffiths Photographers

Dagenham & Redbridge winger George Saunders in action against King's Lynn Town - Credit: Griffiths Photographers

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Though, I must also comment before we move on, on a certain Matt Robinson. Nearing 150 appearances for the club, he is playing possibly the best football he has played in his time at the club – now finally adding to his goal tally in the process.

He wasn’t the scorer on Tuesday, but the midfielder now advancing forward and playing the ball around with great composure – he is a joy to watch. He received praise from Daryl McMahon too, the Irishman claiming he was the ‘best player on the pitch’.

I’ve spoken of the performances of those included, but it was an ‘intriguing’ team selection yet again – a notable omission being Paul McCallum. He has struggled to hit the heights we know he is capable of and went missing against Notts County following a penalty miss.

I hope Paul finds some confidence, which I believe he thrives on, and finds his way back into the team and scoring. I’ve spoken previously about the style of play and getting balls into the box required for McCallum to get scoring goals – McMahon needs to find a formula which comes up with this desired outcome of Paul McCallum getting on the scoresheet.

Paul McCallum of Dagenham and Redbridge during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Wealdstone, Vanarama National

Paul McCallum of Dagenham and Redbridge - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Overall, it was a great display of ‘togetherness’, but it is important we back this victory up with another good performance. It’s unfortunate we have to wait another week, however we do have again more time to prepare for the Sutton clash next Tuesday.

This game will be the first since we have found out the resolution of the season announced just yesterday – National League to continue as the North and South declared ‘null & void’. This in turn meaning no relegation from the National League!

Now, I was never concerned about us being relegated, but any doubts have been erased from the minds of players, staff and supporters alike. Some teams are now taking their foot off the gas, refusing to play in some cases after they voted for a different outcome, their future in the league secured for another season.

But, I say to the Daggers that you’ve got nothing to lose and they must be brave, bold and confident going into the back end of the season. I don’t want to see anymore defensive performances, hesitant to play attacking football and we must really take the game to the opposition.

Our aim should be play-offs, of which we remain eight points behind, we must start that chase for the top 7 on Tuesday as we host the U’s. We nicked a good point in the reverse fixture at Gander Green Lane: let’s hope we can go one step further at Victoria Road.

Just the one game to speak about in this blog, but it’s another three points up for grabs.

Hopefully, we’ve got them in the bag by the time I next speak and we have two wins in two.

Until then, stay safe and Come On You Daggers.   

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