Dagenham & Redbridge: Luke Pennell says crowd could be crucial in National League opener with Barrow

PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 August 2017

Luke Pennell of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Luke Pennell of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Daggers entertain Bluebirds on Saturday and left-back feels home advantage could be the difference between two sides who finished in top half last term

Luke Pennell believes home advantage could be key when Dagenham & Redbridge start the new National League season in front of their own fans against Barrow on Satuday.

In their two games with the Bluebirds last season, Daggers suffered defeats on both occasions, including a 4-1 loss at Victoria Road last November.

Pennell, though, is confident the Essex club can overcome their recent poor results against Paul Cox’s men and start the season in fine style.

“We’ve looked at how Barrow are going to play, but we’re going to play our game and stick to our strengths,” said the 21-year-old. “We’re at home, so we have the advantage.”

Daggers head into the new term off the back of what has been a mixed pre-season at best.

In seven friendlies, Daggers won just twice and were unable to keep a clean sheet in any game.

Pennell, however, is unconcerned about the pre-season results, instead insisting the games were about ensuring the squad was up to speed for the start of the new term.

“It’s all about getting minutes under your belt during pre-season, everyone is trying to get back into the flow and get back to match fitness,” added the left-back.

“Results, we don’t really look into them too much as long as we’re feeling sharp and ready to go.”

Having missed out on promotion in the play-offs last season, Daggers are expected to challenge near the top of the National League once again.

And Pennell, who moved to Victoria Road from Dunstable Town in March 2016, picked out who he feels will rival Daggers to win promotion this campaign.

“Tranmere will be good contenders, while Leyton Orient will be eager to go back up, like we were last season,” said the ex-MK Dons youngster.

“Other than that, I feel if we fulfil our potential, we can win promotion.”

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