Luke Guttridge excited by Dagenham & Redbridge attack ahead of season opener at home to Southport

PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 August 2016

Luke Guttridge of Dagenham & Redbridge and Andy Barcham of AFC WImbledon (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Luke Guttridge of Dagenham & Redbridge and Andy Barcham of AFC WImbledon (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Daggers playmaker confident team will be prolific in National League this season

Oliver Hawkins of Dagenham & Redbridge and Paul Robinson of AFC Wimbledon (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Oliver Hawkins of Dagenham & Redbridge and Paul Robinson of AFC Wimbledon (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Luke Guttridge hopes he can form part of a potent Dagenham & Redbridge attack this season, which gets underway at home to Southport on Saturday.

Guttridge has been regularly deployed in the hole behind the striker during pre-season and to great affect too, linking up well with forward Oliver Hawkins.

The ex-Luton Town playmaker has also been providing the balls for both Chris Assombalonga and Fejiri Okenabirhie to find space on the flanks.

Jordan Maguire-Drew, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, is another option Daggers have in attack, and Guttridge believes the club is in a good place to trouble Port’s defence this weekend.

Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

“It’s been really good and as a front three or four, sometimes you can naturally play with people,” said the 34-year-old.

“We’ve got ‘Hawks’ who is a real handful, we’ve got pace out wide and Jordan as well who is a very clever player and I’ve been impressed with him since he’s come in from Brighton.”

Despite the positives that the attack has provided during a pre-season where 19 goals have been scored by Daggers, the defence has looked leaky.

Of the six games that featured a predominantly first-team look, Daggers recorded only two clean sheets, in wins away to Romford and Dunstable Town.

Christian Assombalonga of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Christian Assombalonga of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

At home to Wimbledon at the weekend, the Victoria Road side were again caused problems by the Dons attack, with a first-half goal from David Fitzpatrick the difference.

And Guttridge is aware that defence is an area Daggers must improve on if they are to be successful this year.

He added: “We’ve been letting people in at the back and against Wimbledon, we were punished for that.”

Another area where Guttridge is keen to improve is his overall contribution in a game, having failed to score during pre-season.

Jordan Maguire-Drew of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Jordan Maguire-Drew of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Despite not getting on the scoresheet, the ex-Leyton Orient man did provide several assists, but it seems he would rather have more goals.

He added: “I could have scored a couple of goals in pre-season, so I’m disappointed, but it’s been a long five, six months for me.

“I’m still getting my eye in, but no excuses, I should be scoring. Normally, I’d have at least two or three by now so I’m a little bit disappointed with myself. If I can tidy up with the chances I’m getting, the same with the other boys (it will be better).

“We’ve created a lot of chances in the games we’ve played, not so much the last two, but once we can start being clinical in the final third and tidy up in our own box, I think we’ll do really well.”

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