Smith knows most of Daggers’ squad are playing for their futures

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 April 2019

Jamie Philpot of Barrow and Nathan Smith of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo)

Jamie Philpot of Barrow and Nathan Smith of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Defender is one of a number of players with the Essex club who is out of contract in the summer

Chike Kandi of Dagenham & Redbridge tackles Josh Granite of Barrow (pic: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo)Chike Kandi of Dagenham & Redbridge tackles Josh Granite of Barrow (pic: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo)

Nathan Smith knows most of the Dagenham & Redbridge squad are playing for their futures as the end of the Vanarama National League season approaches.

The 32-year-old was speaking after helping Daggers to a goalless draw at home to Barrow at the weekend which saw the Victoria Road side move 10 points clear of the relegation zone with four games to go.

The Jamaica international only moved to the Essex club on a free transfer in October, but is one of a number of players whose current deal expires at the end of the campaign.

Smith admits it is always tough for players when such uncertainty surrounds their future, but says the squad must first make sure of safety before turning their attentions to where they will be plying their trade next season.

“It’s a period of time when a lot of players might feel uncomfortable, but we have to get the job done first and foremost,” said the former Yeovil Town defender.

“Once we’ve done that, then we can deal with contracts afterwards.”

As for that draw against Barrow, Daggers were second best in the first half, but were on top for much of the second period.

And Smith notes that the draw was a fair reflection of the game on the balance of play.

He added: “It was probably a fair result as Barrow were better in the first half and we did well again in the second half.”

The defender began the match as part of a back three alongside Manny Onariase and Kenny Clark, but moved to left-back at the start of the second half as Daggers boss Peter Taylor shuffled his deck.

The 32-year-old then had to learn how to play with Ollie Harfield, who had started the game at left wing-back, in front of him as the left winger.

But Smith shrugged learning on the job off as part and parcel of being a footballer, commenting: “It’s fairly easy switching positions in a game and it’s something we had done previously.

“We know if the gaffer wants to make that change, then he’ll make that change.

“We do our analysis on the opposition and it what it is.

“It’s about building a relationship with your team-mates and if it happens again, then hopefully we can make something good of it again.”

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