Daggers looking to put poor league form aside in FA Trophy encounter
PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 December 2019
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Dagenham & Redbridge will look to put their league woes behind them as they head into FA Trophy action this weekend.
Daggers travel to Gander Green Lane on Saturday to take on Sutton United in the first round of the prestigious non-league competition as they desperately look to salvage some good form.
They are expected to potentially have a few of the injured players return to contention for selection for the clash to give assistant manager Terry Harris and first-team coach Jody Brown more options to choose from.
Defender Luke Croll will most likely retain his place in the starting line-up to get him back up to full fitness following his return in their 2-1 defeat to Maidenhead United at the weekend.
"We've got a full week where we can hopefully get the other guys back onto the training field and integrated back into our sessions," assistant Terry Harris told DaggersTV.
"At the moment they're doing remedial work with John Gowens (physio) and Neil Withington (fitness coach), but hopefully we'll get them back into our sessions then we can judge them."
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Angelo Balanta, Sam Deering, Manny Onariase, Bagasan Graham, Harry Phipps, Harold Odametey and loanee Ben House have all been sidelined in recent weeks.
Defender Croll was keen to make it known that they can't make excuses because of injuries for the recent run although he did admit it will help to get some more bodies back available.
"The quicker we can get everyone back the better," said Croll.
"I don't think I can put it down to myself or anyone particular being out because everyone here is more than capable of playing.
"I hear everyone saying Angelo is a massive miss, and he is, but we've got people like Harry Phipps who has been injured for ages that is a crucial part of the team."
Daggers will be keen to progress into the next round regardless, especially with £4,500 up for grabs in prize money to help bolster the club's finances, while the losers will still bag £1,500.
Daggers will then also take on local rivals Barking in the Essex Senior Cup at Victoria Road on Tuesday.
It will also be seen as a good chance to hand players minutes as they return from injury.