Column: Dagenham & Redbridge must strive for redemption

Dagenham and Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Altrincham, Vanarama Nat

Dagenham and Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Altrincham, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 12th December 2020 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

The Shots inflicting their second defeat of the season (securing the double), Dagenham’s second loss of the weekend, as a 2-0 victory at Victoria Road saw the Daggers put in a dire display.

This, topping off an Easter weekend to forget for McMahon’s side, a disappointing weekend to say the least.

It began with defeat in Hartlepool as they, too, managed to secure a second victory of the season over Dagenham & Redbridge – this one though, easier for the visitors to stomach.

With the performance a lot better than the one they were to put in a few days later, the Daggers looked in good stead to pull off a result on Easter Monday.

But, as aforementioned, the performance and result against Aldershot was disappointing to say the least and had wider implications in that it seemed beyond doubt – Dagenham’s outside chance at the play-offs was over for another season.

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So, I want to explore today, the idea of Dagenham being the ‘nearly’ side of the National League and are we even that as the fears are we’re on course to finish 17th for yet another season.

Of course, this can change and we’ll have a good run-in that could see us finish higher but frustrations have grown over this season – another gone by without any tangible reward.

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This idea of being a ‘nearly side’, this mentality, is something Daryl McMahon wanted to change when he took on the role and too, did the owners.

‘It’s going to take time’, is a phrase we’ve heard on countless occasions, many accepting this, but where I stand with others in the fanbase is in that time we must see progression and improvements.

The latter has been in short supply, and you only need to look as far as the league table to evidence that, therefore I believe although play-offs might be out of reach – an improvement in league position would be some sign of improvement.

Also, just on why these games still matter, for the players they are playing for contract extensions – a lot of them – while also for that progression in league position beyond 17th.

To meet the ambitions of progression, they’ll need a wealth of improvement on that shift they put in against Aldershot. This is something McMahon believes they’ll be able to do to get back on track after ‘2 months’ of great performances.

Although I agree there have been improvements in performance levels, I did take a glance at the ‘form table’ and we aren’t even in the top half despite what certain individuals’ comments might suggest.

So, to reach the top half of that form table and indeed the league table itself, we’ll need a result away to the Ravens; who are under new management.

Andy Woodman’s side are a tough team to defeat, hence why they sit still with a shot at the play-off places as the season’s close nears. But, it’s these games the Daggers will have to win, for the reasons I’ve discussed.

After a trip to Bromley, Dagenham will host Solihull Moors who they did beat in the reverse fixture, they’ll hope to put in that level of performance to get back to winning ways and finish the season strong.

So, after a performance, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Notts County in February – redemption is the name of the game this week – but it won’t be easy.

Until next week, stay safe and Come On You Daggers.

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