Still: Daggers must improve defensively

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE boss John Still pinpointed his team’s defensive frailties as the reason for their disappointing draw against Walsall on Saturday, writes Ben Welch.

A first half header from Darren Currie had give Daggers the lead, but Martin Devaney struck shortly after the interval to level the scores and it could have been even worse for the home side had Reuben Reid’s late effort found the back of the net and not the foot of the post.

Still thought his side edged the contest, but felt they paid the price for sloppy defending.

“We did enough to win it, but we were soft defensively, the goal was soft,” he said.

“The opportunities they got were soft and I don’t think that defensively we were very good.


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“I think it’s always a disappointing result when you don’t win at home, but the performance was good I’m just unhappy with the defence.”

Still’s men are currently second from bottom in League One and only second placed Peterborough have shipped more goals this season. The Daggers have conceded 20 goals in 12 outings and while they have only scored 12 – with strikers Gavin Tomlin and Josh Scott yet to get off the mark – Still insists his primary concern is the leaky rearguard.

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“Us scoring goals doesn’t overly concern me, my biggest concern is how soft we are defensively at the moment,” said the former Barnet boss.

“It’s not lack of concentration, the concentration is good, I think it’s a lack of discipline and that’s one thing you can’t coach, you’ve either got it or you haven’t and we were just too soft today (Saturday).

“They never really threatened us other than the goal then Scott Doe, who has played well, hit a terrible back pass, we had two players caught out of position from a long ball and we’ve worked our socks off in training on defending, so I’ve got to look at that because I’m not happy with it.”

Still (pictured) reflected on the positives from Victoria Road, but his overriding feeling was one of disappointment as his team failed to replicate the pre-match game plan.

“It was a good goal from Currie. They are always going to come here and battle like hell, but I thought in the first half we were good value,” he said.

“In the second half we did enough to score again, but their goalkeeper (Jonny Brain) made some terrific saves.

“There were lots of bits and pieces in and around the box where we’ve not quite got it right and one of them should have been enough to win.”

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