Daggers boss fumes at defence after Bournemouth defeat
John Still reveals frustration, after his side ship five in their Carling Cup first round defeat.
John Still vented his frustration at his side’s star defenders, after Bournemouth dumped Daggers out of the Carling Cup at the first hurdle on Tuesday.
With midfielders in desperately short supply, regular right-back Abu Ogogo was pushed into an unfamiliar role in the centre of the park.
That forced left-back Damien McCrory to play on the right-side of defence and Femi Ilesanmi to come into the team at left-back, despite not fully recovering from the ankle injury that kept him out of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Macclesfield.
But it was usually reliable central defensive pairing Scott Doe and skipper Mark Arber – making his 600th career appearance – that bore the brunt of Still’s anger.
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“He won’t play another 600 if he plays like that,” said Still, after learning of Arber’s achievement.
“He’s been fantastic for us, but he’s not done well enough tonight, him or Scott. I think Scott’s a tremendous player, but he hasn’t done well enough.
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“The two full-backs I don’t attach blame to. Femi’s played, he’s alright to play, but not quite right and then Damien’s played on his wrong side, so I’m not putting too much blame to them. We’ve had to play Abu in midfield, we’re light in a few areas because of our injuries, but I felt we could have defended better.
“Losing away from home in this cup, is not a thing that bothers me. Of course I want to win every game, but it’s not something that bothers me, because we are light in midfield and defence at the moment.
“Really, I’ve got two for every position, but Richard Rose is out, that gives me a problem, (Phil) Walsh has been out, he came back in against Stevenage and did very well, but was really sore afterwards and I don’t want him to go backwards otherwise I might have actually used him tonight, so we’re a bit light there and certainly a bit light in the centre of midfield.
“You just have to try and do what you can and to be honest I wasn’t too disappointed in some areas, but I was disappointed with the centre of our defence, they should have done better.”
Still felt there were few positives he could draw from the game, but was impressed with the performance of 20-year-old Jake Reed.
The striker made his debut as a 51st minute substitute on Tuesday night and his lively cameo impressed the Daggers boss.
“I thought he looked very sharp,” said Still. “He created chances for himself and this is all new to him.
“He was playing for Great Yarmouth last year, so we’ve just got to keep working with Jake, but we like him.
“We like Brian Woodall as well, but they’ve come from low levels and they’ll take their time.”