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Daggers boss Burnett: Awford appointment has galavanised Portsmouth

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Friday, April 11, 2014
2:00 PM

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett believes handing Andy Awford the managerial reins at Portsmouth has “galvanised” them.

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Burnett’s side host Pompey at Victoria Road tomorrow with the visitors’ Football League safety still to be secured.

There has been an improvement under Awford though, with back-to-back wins alleviating most fears of a drop out of the Football League.

However, with points still required by Pompey, Burnett is expecting an extremely tough test as the Daggers look to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-0 loss at Wycombe Wanderers.

“We have got a very difficult game and they come into it off the back of two very good wins,” said Burnett.

“Portsmouth are fighting for their lives so we expecting a hard game.

“New managers often get an improvement and that’s been evident, sometimes you get a reaction and they certainly have.

“They have got some good players and it has galvanised them. Andy Awford is a good football man, I have known him for many years. It was very disappointing Saturday but we have to move on from that.”

Daggers lost out 1-0 at Fratton Park on Boxing Day in a below-par performance from the visitors.

On the day, Pompey were there for the taking and it was one of just four wins for former boss Richie Barker.

And Burnett certainly hopes his side can make a bigger impression tomorrow then they did on Boxing Day.

“I don’t think we performed at all that day,” he added.

“We didn’t do ourselves any justice. We have an opportunity to make amends on Saturday. It was a tight game but I don’t think we performed to the levels we are capable of.”

Daggers look like they may just fall short in their search for the play-offs, with maximum points a must from their final five games of the season to maintain any hope.

And though it will be disappointing if they do miss out for Burnett, he insists you have to look at the bigger picture.

“At the end of the day you play 46 games and the table doesn’t lie,” he remarked.

“It pans itself out over the course of the season. Fifty-four points with five games to go is a fantastic achievement.

“We were predicted to go down so this team have surpassed people’s expectations.”

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