Tomlin looking for a more ruthless edge against Hartlepool United

GAVIN TOMLIN is tired of taking the positives out of Dagenham & Redbridge’s performances this season without a tangible reward to show for them.

The Daggers slipped to the bottom of the League One table following their defeat at Rochdale on Saturday although have won praise from observers for their tenacious approach to a debut campaign in League One.

With just two wins under their belt, John Still’s side have also drawn five games, three of which were at their Victoria Road base.

Hartlepool United, who are also precariously placed in 18th position, are the visitors this weekend and Tomlin has asked his team-mates to add a ruthless edge to their display.

“Performances don’t guarantee anything, so we’ve just got to turn those performances into wins,” he said.

“We need to start picking up points at home. Draws are not good enough at home and we need to start picking up some points, everybody knows that, and we’ll be going to win on Saturday.

“The mood is still fine. Even though we’re down in the league, we’re not playing that badly so it could be worse. Everyone is still positive and bright around the training ground.

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“With two or three wins you’re in the top half of the table again so it’s nothing to get concerned about at this time.”

Against Rochdale, Daggers paid the price for failing to adapt to their diamond formation early in the contest, before scoring twice after the break once John Still made some adjustments.

Tomlin was impressed with the hosts’ adventurous approach, but felt they were given too much license to do as they pleased.

“The second half was really good, we pressed really well,” he said.

“We seemed to be on top for the majority of the second half and we managed to get two goals back. We need to start a little better in games and realise that when you step up leagues, teams play different formations. You need to be a little quicker sometimes.

“Their full-backs and centre halves dropped to receive the football and they had a central midfielder who dropped to receive it, so it gave them a lot of avenues to get out of situations. “They did really well in that aspect and obviously they’ve been using that formation for a little while, so they’re used to it and we never adapted quickly enough in the first half.”

Part of the reason for the upturn in Daggers’ showing was Tomlin moving back into midfield to disrupt Rochdale’s passing rhythm.

Having not scored all season, the striker says he will sacrifice his place up front to aid the overall team effort.

“I’m comfortable playing practically anywhere on the pitch, I just see it as football and I enjoy playing football wherever it may be,” he laughed.

“It gives me the license to get on the ball a lot more. When you’re up front you have to wait for other people to give you service, but when you’re in midfield you can make things happen.

“You can break up the play and you can go and get it off your defenders, so I really enjoy playing that position.

“I played there at times at Yeovil in a midfield three, so I’m quite used to playing that role.

“I’d do it again, no problem. I enjoyed it on Saturday.”

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