Still confident Daggers will stay up
�Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still is determined to steer his side clear of relegation, after two defeats over the Easter weekend saw them slip into the bottom four.
Following the 1-0 home reverse to Plymouth on Good Friday, Daggers produced a much-improved performance away to promotion-chasing Huddersfield on Monday, but two first-half goals saw them beaten 2-1.
Still’s men have taken just five points from a possible 30, but must turn their form around and take points from their remaining matches against Carlisle and Peterborough to ensure survival.
After witnessing his team’s spirited display at Huddersfield, the Daggers boss feels his side are capable of achieving their momentous goal.
“I was so pleased with how we played. We’ve got to take that performance through to the next two games now,” said Still.
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“The other results haven’t been terribly unkind to us, it was a great performance, we’ve got to do it now in the last two games, but to play like that we’re going to give ourselves every chance.
“Some of our play, some of our movement of the ball was brilliant.
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“The pitch helped, we’ve got to respect that our pitch isn’t the biggest help to us and we showed that at Brighton, the pitch was terrific and we played with such intensity.
“Huddersfield are a top side, they’re going for promotion, they’re going to cause us millions of problems, but we’ve overcome those problems and I think in the end the only team that had problems was them.”
Jordan Rhodes struck either side of Romain Vincelot’s goal to give Huddersfield a 2-1 lead at half time.
But Daggers more than matched their opponents in the second half and were unfortunate not to level the score when John Akinde hit the post.
However, Still was left frustrated at the attempted challenge on Akinde and felt his side should have been awarded a penalty.
“In the second half it was all us and the gutter for us was that it was a definite, definite penalty on John Akinde,” he said.
“John’s been out a long while and we’re pushing him to play. We took him off against Plymouth to save his legs.
“He’s a real handful and if we keep working him hopefully, even for the last game, he’ll be right on it, because he’s getting there all the time and I thought today he gave them all sorts of problems, should have scored, but he caused lots of problems.”
For all Daggers’ hard work, their season now comes down to two matches, starting with the visit of Carlisle United on Saturday and a trip to high-flying Peterborough United on the final day of the season.
Relegation rivals Bristol Rovers face Sheffield Wednesday and Colchester United, while Walsall, currently favourites for survival, take on Charlton and Southampton.
Still is under no illusions as to the enormity of the task ahead, but says his side will not compromise on their style of play.
“They’re tough games, but if they were easy games we wouldn’t be in this position.
“This is an unbelievably tough league,” he said.
“We only play one way, we try to move the ball quickly, get crosses in and get balls behind them.
“We’re never going to change that. We know that for us that’s the right way.”