Taylor believes Balanta and Wilkinson turned Daggers’ season around

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 May 2019

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo)

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Daggers forwards netted 19 goals between them despite joining midway through campaign

Conor Wilkinson of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Conor Wilkinson of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Peter Taylor believes the signings of Angelo Balanta and Conor Wilkinson helped turn Dagenham & Redbridge's Vanarama National League season around.

The front men joined Daggers midway through the campaign after Trinity Sports Holdings had taken over as majority shareholders at Victoria Road, eventually netting 19 goals between them.

Balanta was the first to join in October, arriving from Boreham Wood at a time when the Essex club were 22nd in the table with just nine points from their first 16 games.

After the 28-year-old came on board, Daggers went on to take 47 points from their final 30 matches.

Balanta and Wilkinson have enjoyed a fruitful partnership over the second half of the term and boss Taylor knows that Daggers have one of the best forward pairings in the division.

"If you've got a front two like Angelo and Conor, you always know you've got a chance of getting a goal," he said.

"That gives the changing room a lift, even before 3pm on a Saturday."

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As for those first few weeks of the season, Daggers seemed on course for a lengthy battle against the drop.

That was in part owing to the financial difficulties the Essex club endured over the summer, which in turn had an impact on the budget Taylor could initially work with.

Though he was able to build a squad of 20 players for their opening-day trip to Boreham Wood, Taylor's squad was in severe need of experienced heads.

Those players, however, come at a price and the Daggers boss revealed that made the opening months of the campaign, prior to Trinity Sports Holding's takeover, testing.

"It was a difficult situation in August because we had a very young squad as a result of having a low budget," added the 66-year-old.

"We couldn't put all of our money into one player, that's for certain.

"Sometimes that one player is good enough for the National League, but is a bit out of your budget so you can't sign him.

"We had to start off with a young team, but I still felt we should have had six or seven points more than what we did in the early weeks.

"Even in the games where we kept losing by the odd goal, it was silly mistakes that cost us and a lack of experience.

"The young players were learning and improving because they were making fewer mistakes."

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