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Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still says squad’s inexperience proved costly in Chester loss

PUBLISHED: 09:30 10 August 2016

Chris Assombalonga of Dagenham & Redbridge is beaten to the ball by Liam Roberts of Chester (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Chris Assombalonga of Dagenham & Redbridge is beaten to the ball by Liam Roberts of Chester (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Daggers manager hopes team can learn from first defeat in National League at Blues

Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge controls the ball in front of Ryan Astles of Chester (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge controls the ball in front of Ryan Astles of Chester (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Dagenham & Redbridge’s lack of experience could have been their downfall against Chester in the National League, according to manager John Still.

The Victoria Road side, who had looked so good against Southport on the opening day of the season, came crashing back to down earth following a 3-0 loss in Cheshire.

Elliott Durrell and Tom Shaw scored stunning long-range efforts for the Blues in the first half at the Deva Stadium, while Daggers’ hopes of a fightback were ended in the 59th minute when Chester striker James Alabi headed home.

It was a result, and display, that likely served as a wake-up call to Daggers as to truly how difficult and unpredictable the Natonal League can be.

But Still believes the cause for such a variation in displays in a matter of days is down to inexperience in the ranks, with seven of his 13 new additions having their first real experience of a first-team environment this season.

“We didn’t play well, we never had enough players who played to their level. I’m not saying it’s something that would surprise me because of the inexperience of the side,” admitted the ex-Luton Town boss.

“When things didn’t go right, perhaps we didn’t have enough knowledge in the team, but that might be making an excuse.

“We want to pass the ball out from the back, we want to get it into forwards’ feet, but it wasn’t quite working early on.

“We have to recognise maybe we have to change one or two things about what we do, but we didn’t. We tried to do it from the side, but it’s very difficult from the side.

“That comes down to a bit of knowledge. I’m comfortable with how I want to play, but we have to always be able to change something when things are not working. It wasn’t working at Chester.”

Daggers’ defeat at Chester also appears to have tempered the buoyant mood among the fans generated by the emphatic opening day success at home to Southport.

But Still says he is not reading much into either result, believing that his new-look squad at the Essex club is still adapting to playing both together and in the National League.

“I never went over the moon through hoops on Saturday, and I’m not despondent after the loss at Chester because we have to find our levels and find where we are. That could take six, seven, eight games and that’s football,” added the former Barnet manager.

“I don’t really get too high or too low about wins or losses, but what I do understand and what I do realise is that we have to have an identity about how we want to play and have an identity how we’re going to deal with situations.

“That can be a little bit up-and-down and as I happy as I was after Saturday and as disappointed as I am after the loss, that’s football and I have to deal with it.”

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