Taylor to play full-strength Daggers side against Eastleigh out of respect for play-off race
PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 April 2019
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Essex club have little to play for other than pride, but boss says he owes it to play-off hopefuls to play his best team on Friday
Peter Taylor insists he will name a full-strength Dagenham & Redbridge side to face Eastleigh on Friday out of respect to the Spitfires' play-off rivals in the Vanarama National League.
Having secured safety with a 1-0 success at Ebbsfleet United last weekend, Daggers boss Taylor would be forgiven for using the final three games of this season to take a look at some other options in his squad.
But with Friday's opponents Eastleigh currently occupying the final spot in the top seven, Taylor feels he owes it to all the teams looking to reach the play-offs to name his strongest possible side to face the Spitfires.
Speaking after the win at the Fleet, Taylor said: “We owe it to teams like Ebbsfleet, who are just outside the play-offs, to give it a right go against Eastleigh because they have to earn the right to get in the play-offs.
“We'll be as strong as we can possibly be against Eastleigh and the same goes for the game against Solihull Moors (on April 27) as well unless their place in the table can't change.
“The Braintree Town game (on April 22) may be one where I'm certainly considering playing a few players that haven't played that much recently.”
Taylor's stance is a commendable one, but one which may well leave him with a conundrum come Friday.
A bout of illness meant top scorer Conor Wilkinson was only fit enough to make the bench last weekend, with Tomi Adeloye starting in attack instead.
Adeloye certainly made the most of a rare chance in the starting XI, scoring the goal that effectively secured the Essex club's place in the division again next term.
Wilkinson is expected to be fit to face Eastleigh on Friday, but Adeloye's display at Ebbsfleet has certainly given his manager food for thought.
Taylor added: “Tomi took his goal well and they made a bit of a mistake which allowed him in, but he took it really well.
“He showed some power and some good areas of his play at Ebbsfleet. He worked very hard in training and deserved to play.
“Conor missed a couple of days of training with a bit of food poisoning, so we know he couldn't last 90 minutes. That's why I put him on at the end, rather than start him and see him get tired.”