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Daggers have come a long way since opening-day defeat at Fleetwood Town

Rhys Murphy of Dagenham and Redbridge is congratulated after scoring the opening Daggers goal at Fleetwood on the opening day of the season. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO Rhys Murphy of Dagenham and Redbridge is congratulated after scoring the opening Daggers goal at Fleetwood on the opening day of the season. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Friday, January 10, 2014
4:30 PM

League Two preview: Dagenham & Redbridge v Fleetwood Town.

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It looked like being a long season when Daggers fell 2-0 down at Fleetwood Town inside 10 minutes on the opening day of the new League Two campaign in August.

They went on to lose 3-1 and Rhys Murphy netted the first of his 12 goals for the club so far.

But the Daggers have come a long way since then and go into tomorrow’s game in 10th place in the table, something many wouldn’t have predicted after the defeat to Graham Alexander’s side.

“I think we have improved a lot from the opening day game. We’ve got better and we were a relatively new team, but I think we have developed and progressed,” said Burnett.

“If I’d have said at the start of the season that we’d have one of the top goalscorers in the league, one of the top assist players in the league and we are going to be sitting 10th in the league in January you would have said I was a clown.”

The strength in depth at Alexander’s disposal saw them as pre-season favourites to go up, and Burnett feels that hasn’t changed despite them currently sitting in seventh place, the final play-off spot.

“You look at their squad and the players like Jon Parkin, Gareth Evans and David Ball. They have got some very good attacking players,” he added.

“They were the favourites to go up at the start of the season and they are still up there. They have got a squad with great depth in and some very good players.

“We are under no illusions with the squad they have, should we expect to beat them? Probably not but there are a number of teams that we have not been expected to beat and we have done.

“Our group is doing fantastically well and we are under no illusions how well we are doing and hopefully we can continue that.”

Lawson D’Ath is available for the Daggers after serving his one-match suspension, while fellow Reading loanee Dominic Samuel is available after joining on loan yesterday.

Billy Bingham and Matt Saunders are out of the fixture though, through injury, while Jordan Seabright is struggling with a foot injury picked up in training.

There is good news though with Bingham and Saunders set to return to training next week, after a scan revealed the latter’s ankle injury doesn’t require any surgery.

“Hopefully they’ll both train next week but they’ll have to catch up to speed in terms of their match fitness but we are hoping that they can get back soon,” said Burnett. “But it just gives other players opportunities.

“Matt’s seen as specialist and doesn’t need any surgery. He’s had an injection in it so hopefully that will ease the pain a bit and take the inflammation away.”

For Fleetwood, new loan signing Mikael Mondron will be included in the matchday squad after making the switch from Sunderland, while Dean Howell and Chris Maxwell are available again after their respective loans at Bury and Cambridge United ended.

Matty Blair will not be included though having joined Northampton Town on loan earlier today.

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