Gordon determined to make most of second chance with Daggers
PUBLISHED: 12:17 31 December 2018
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Defender was one of first names on team sheet for Essex club earlier in season, but has only recently returned to line-up after being dropped in October
Liam Gordon says his spell out of the Dagenham & Redbridge starting XI has helped him improve as a footballer.
The 19-year-old began the campaign as the first-choice left-back for the Vanarama National League club, but fell out of favour in mid-October.
Boss Peter Taylor instead opted to field the more experienced Nathan Smith and Luke Pennell in that position, but both are now injured which has seen Gordon given another chance.
And after knowing what it feels like to be dropped, the teenager insists he will do all he can to keep his place in the starting XI.
Speaking after the 1-0 loss at home to Barnet in the league on Saturday, Gordon said: “The gaffer told me what to work on and I worked on that in training and got my chance, which I had to take.
“I think I’ve made the most of it and think I’ve been playing quite well, but I have to carry on and keep my form up.
“It was a blow being dropped, but I’m mentally strong and knew I had to continue working hard.
“I knew I couldn’t turn up at training with a sad face; I had to make sure I trained hard in preparation for when I got my chance.
“I’ve always been a hungry player and I knew I’d get another chance and that I’d be good enough to take it when it came.”
Since Gordon has returned to the starting XI, he has found himself playing next to left-sided centre-back Kenny Clark in a 5-3-2 formation.
The 30-year-old has become an important player for the Essex club since arriving from divisional rivals Ebbsfleet United in November.
Clark has already impressed plenty of Daggers fans and took man of the match honours in the defeat to Barnet with a terrific defensive display despite the result.
And Gordon could not speak highly enough of the experienced centre-back and is aware of the positive impact he has had on Taylor’s men.
“Ken’s been superb since he’s come in and he’s one of the best players I’ve played alongside with because he talks to me so much,” added the full-back.
“There’s lot of experienced players in the squad now like Ken and Angelo Balanta who know where they want me and when they want me to be there, so I can’t go wrong.
“Ken’s slipped in well and is one of the boys now. In his first game back, he did brilliantly and he’s done brilliantly in every game since.”