Despairing Daggers fans have reason for Christmas cheer

Why being bottom of League Two at Christmas doesn’t always equal relegation

Dagenham & Redbridge supporters may have to wipe away tears as they tuck into their turkey this Christmas.

Just 12 months after rubbing shoulders with Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday in League One, Daggers find themselves bottom of the Football League.

However, history shows being at the foot of League Two on Christmas Day does not automatically mean relegation.

Since the rules were changed to relegate two clubs to the Conference nine seasons ago, four teams occupying 24th position on December 25 eventually survived.

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Just last year Hereford were at the foot of the table with 15 points, but finished 21st and three points clear of the drop.

Others to complete the great escape were Macclesfield in 2006/07, Torquay in 2005/06 and Bristol Rovers in 2002/03.

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And Daggers assistant manager Terry Harris believes his side have plenty of time to turn their season around.

“It is very precarious, but we’ve got 20-plus games to go,” he said.

“One step at a time. It’s been a bad couple of months for us, but hopefully we’re coming out of that now.”

Daggers’ draw at Burton earned them a first league point in 10 matches, but they are still chasing a first league win since October 1.

However, Harris feels his side are capable of picking up maximum points when they entertain fellow strugglers Barnet at Victoria Road.

“Hopefully we’ll get them on Boxing Day,” he said. “It would be a nice Christmas present.”

How the club’s, bottom of League Two on Christmas Day, have faired in previous years:

2010/11 – Hereford United finished 21st – survived

2009/10 – Darlington finished 24th – relegated

2008/09 – Luton Town finished 24th – relegated

2007/08 – Mansfield Town finished 23rd – relegated

2006/07 – Macclesfield Town finished 22nd – survived

2005/06 – Torquay United finished 20th – survived

2004/05 – Cambridge United finished 24th – relegated

2003/04 – Carlisle United finished 23rd – relegated

2002/03 – Bristol Rovers finished 20th – survived

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