Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still: We were still on the coach in the first half at Aldershot Town
PUBLISHED: 09:30 22 March 2017
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Daggers boss fumes after poor first half costs his team against the Shots
Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still was angered by his team’s first-half display in their 3-1 loss away to Aldershot Town in the National League.
Daggers were completely played off the pitch in the opening period in Hampshire and trailed 2-0 at the break after goals from Shamir Fenelon and Bernard Mensah.
The Essex club played a lot better after the break, with skipper Scott Doe pulling one back, offering the visitors hope of a comeback.
However, former Daggers forward Matt McClure came off the bench to strike a third for the hosts in the final 10 minutes to end the match as a contest.
And Still believes Daggers fifth defeat in their last seven games was down to a poor first half in Hampshire.
“The first half, they run us ragged. We were still on the coach from Saturday,” he said.
“It’s been three tough games against Forest Green Rovers, Barrow and now Aldershot.
“In the other two games, we’d done well, but we were still on the coach in the first half.
“We have to play for 90 minutes, I know they’re tough games and a lot of travelling, but I don’t look at it as tiredness.”
With the manager not blaming fatigue for Daggers’ struggles at the Recreation Ground, it would have been intriguing to know why he felt the Essex club started slowly.
But when pushed for an answer, the Daggers boss was unable to put his finger on why his team were so poor in the first half.
“These players are fit, so I don’t think tiredness is a reason, but the players might use it,” he added.
“It was a long journey to Barrow at the weekend and a long journey back, but I don’t look at that and I think we should have been better than that in the first half.”
Defeat means Daggers are now just two points clear of Shots, who lie just outside the play-off places.
It means the Victoria Road side are looking over their shoulders during the run-in to the end of the season.
And Still was disappointed his team never gave themselves a chance of coming away with what would have been a crucial win.
“I always say in football, you’re going to lose sometimes, but it’s how you lose,” he said.
“We lost Saturday, but we did well at a tough ground. Aldershot is a tough ground too, they have the best home record in the league, so we knew it would be tough, but to start like we did, it was lacklustre.
“You looked at people and they were running nowhere. In the second half, we had a bit of zip about us, a bit of life and we caused them problems.
“The players might say they are a bit tired, but I don’t subscribe to that. The two prior performances are the ones we have to have.”
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