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Daggers boss Burnett on Rochdale - We are playing against the best

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

Friday, January 31, 2014
6:00 PM

League Two preview: Rochdale v Dagenham & Redbridge

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Rhys Murphy of Dagenham & Redbridge celebrates the opening goal during the 3-1 win against Rochdale earlier in the season at Victoria Road. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTORhys Murphy of Dagenham & Redbridge celebrates the opening goal during the 3-1 win against Rochdale earlier in the season at Victoria Road. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett believes his side are coming up against the best team they’ve faced this season when they travel to promotion contenders Rochdale on Saturday.

The Daggers may well have won the reverse fixture 3-1 back in October, thanks to Medy Elito’s double and one for Rhys Murphy, but it was a case of the then hosts being at their counter attacking best.

On the day, Dale manager Keith Hill accused his players of being ‘too kind’ with his side dominating possession as well as having a staggering 23 shots on goal.

But despite the result, Burnett claims that was his side’s toughest test and expects more of the same against the Dale, who have the best home record in League Two with 31 points out of a possible 42.

“We’ve played quite a few games since then but in my opinion they are still the best team we’ve played this season,” said Burnett.

“Their home record speaks for itself, and Keith Hill has assembled a good squad and is doing a fantastic job.

“We were clinical in front of goal that day and despite the result they showed what a good side they were.”

Daggers form hasn’t been great of late, with just two wins from their last 12 games as they sit in 11th spot in the League Two table.

But it has been a tough period of games, and Burnett’s side go into tomorrow’s game on the back of two solid home draws against Scunthorpe United and Southend United.

“It’s two unbeaten and that’s a positive but we know we haven’t won enough games of late,” added Burnett.

“That has to change but it is, and continues to be, a tough period of us. Southend and Scunthorpe are right up there, as are Rochdale, but we have to get a win on the board.

“We’ll go there and give it a go but we know how tough it will be.”

Other than the absence of midfielder Luke Howell, who is awaiting scan results on his injured ankle, the Daggers are fully fit.

Rochdale managed to bring in former Leyton Orient youngster George Porter on transfer deadline day, while Jason Kennedy could make his second debut after joining on loan from Bradford City, having left Spotland for the Bantams at the end of last season.

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