Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still pleased to sign ‘versatile’ Jake Howells

PUBLISHED: 14:30 24 January 2017

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

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Daggers boss discusses signing former Hatters winger and bringing in Reading teenager on loan

Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still admits it was Jake Howell’s versatility that made him sign the former Luton Town midfielder on a free transfer last week.

The 25-year-old became Daggers’ first, and so far only, permanent addition in January after agreeing and 18-month deal last week following his release from National League rivals Eastleigh.

Howells is someone who Still knows very well having managed him while with the Hatters, and the Daggers boss believes he is a great addition to his squad.

“Jake was fantastic for me at Luton. He’s not old, but he’s played a ridiculous amount of games for his age,” said Still.

“What appealed to me about him was he can play left-back, wide left, which is his preferred position, or central left, but he’s comfortable in all of them.”

Still, however, did reveal that Howells had been suffering from a slight knock prior to joining Daggers, but expects him to feature in the first-team squad by early February.

“He’s a super player, though he has had a little knee op, but he’s back in full training now,” he added.

“He wouldn’t have been involved against Bromley, but another week or two and he’ll be involved.”

Though he is the only permanent addition, Howells was not the only new face at Daggers last week as defender Jake Sheppard joined on loan from Reading.

And Still believes the Scotland youth international adds some much-needed depth at right-back.

“We have one right-back in Sam Ling who we’ve had to force back too quickly without being as fit as we’d like him to be,” he said.

“We panic about if Sam gets injured and we’ve suffered quite a bit in that position, having had to play Joe Widdowson there.

“The opportunity came to take Jake on loan, and when the chance came we thought we’d foolish not to.

“Jake is a very good player and possibly would have played against Bromley. I say possibly only because he wasn’t well in the week, but it would have allowed us to do a bit of extra fitness work with Sam.”

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