Fans blog: Onus on players as board back boss McMahon
- Credit: GRIFFITHS PHOTOGRAPHERS
It’s been a dramatic, humiliating and humbling week at the Daggers – becoming the centre of National League ridicule during midweek.
Though the onus is squarely on the players and their attitude – the owners sticking by the man they put in the dugout.
All this following the 3-1 condemnation by Notts County – a ten-man Magpies side at that - with no recognised goalkeeper for over 75 minutes.
Before we get to the tensions in the fanbase reaching boiling point, we’ll look to the seemingly most positive thing of the week – a 2-2 draw in North Wales.
In this, the latest of the games to be filed under ‘slow start’, the Daggers saw themselves one down within 30 minutes at the Racecourse.
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This lead was to be doubled within an hour; so McMahon and his players had a battle on their hands.
They did rise to the occasion, and managed to salvage a point; but, there were mixed emotions after Rance found an equaliser in the 95th minute.
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This, following Matt Robinson’s second-ever goal for the club – there were mixed emotions in that the team frustrated and delighted in equal measure.
The self-sabotage of giving ourselves an instant disadvantage after yet more defensive errors led me to the conclusion – we can’t expect to be challenging in the top half if we don’t tighten up at the back.
That point could easily have been three if we could just defend: scoring 4 goals in two games, you’d expect to win at least one, but we drew two.
However, that frustration was to reach whole new heights: the Daggers reaching a whole new low. I set the scene (in terms of events) at Meadow Lane on Tuesday already; but the fallout I’ll go into detail in now.
So, among the snow and frost sweeping the nation – this loss really did bite – didn’t the fans let it be known! There was no desire nor passion; a lack of fighting for the badge, with players described as ‘mannequins’.
The fans directed anger at players but also the management as the decisions in-game were baffling.
Moreover, this performance was in the pipeline following last-gasp saviours on all too frequent occasions.
I believe that there is reason behind arguments that Daryl had this generous budget; and what he has done with it and those players doesn’t reflect too well in the league table.
However, those who granted McMahon a sizeable budget spoke on Friday - with Peter Freund making their position clear – sticking to their vow of the football league. What’s more, stating ‘Daryl is the right man to lead this club.’
Since that debate was almost put to bed on the eve of the Hartlepool encounter at Victoria – I’ll only touch on McMahon’s comments in his highly-anticipated interview briefly. The Irishman took ‘full responsibility’ for the ‘embarrassment’ on Tuesday, but said it’s up to the players to work hard every day to achieve what we all want.
He said all the right things did Daryl; but as he admitted himself – this needs to be backed up with performances.
The Daggers face the task of beginning to put this right today and act on the manager’s, owners’ and fans minimum demand of (as Peter Freund put it) – ‘showing they [the players] want to be here’.
Soemone who proved they want to be here and , on his return to the Starting XI has grabbed the opportunity with both hands is Matt Robinson.
He cemented his place as fan favourite after taking to Twitter to apologise for the performance; yet his performances have been overshadowed somewhat. This past week he has scored two goals; trebling his goal tally at the club!
Will he make it 3 in 3 today? It’s not easy to get a result out of this one, we knew this would be a tough fixture schedule (as it has proved), but the players are playing for more than the three points today.
For their dignity; their pride; their chance to prove they deserve to where the red and blue of Dagenham & Redbridge.
I sincerely hope they can make some sort of a mends, with a win, against a Pools side who sit 2nd in the table: but above all I want to see passion and hope that this season isn’t another lost cause.
The fixtures coming thick and fast, still, the Ravens are the Daggers’ next opponents and over the course of this week we do need results to go alongside these hopefully improved performances.
I’m not going to project how the results will go, but I know that some are needed as we approach a crunch point in the season.
Finally. as the owners implied with the message yesterday; this is to be a long-term project and their loyalty to Daryl proves that. But, we’ll get nowhere (as in the EFL) without the hard-working players required to achieve such success.
So I bow out now and say to those out on the pitch: it’s over to you.
Until then, stay safe and Come On You Daggers!