A concerning slide for Dagenham, but chance to bounce back in FA Cup

Dagenham & Redbridge Manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Altrincham, Vanarama Natio

Dagenham & Redbridge Manager Daryl McMahon - Credit: David Loveday/TGS Photo

Last league game for a couple of weeks, let’s end on a high before the break, that didn’t quite go to plan.

The second half performance from the Daggers at Meadow Park saw a deserved defeat, the worst game (as many supporters said, and Daryl McMahon echoed), for a good few months stretching back into last season.

The fluidity and teamwork we’d been used to seeing since around April time was just non-existent in the second half as McMahon’s men shipped two goals and never looked like clawing one back.

A concerning slide which has seen a disjointed Daggers defeated, but with the FA Cup bringing a new challenge – today we hope to halt that slide.

Wealdstone were the first team to deny Dagenham victory this season, holding them to a 2-2 draw at Victoria Road, so we know the threat they pose and the side that stands in the way of Dagenham and the first round proper.

Andrew Eleftheriou of Wealdstone and Myles Weston of Dagenham & Redbridge battle for the ball

Andrew Eleftheriou of Wealdstone and Myles Weston of Dagenham & Redbridge battle for the ball - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

One issue which I feel contributed to the Boreham Wood defeat and the recent dip in form is this fatigue I believe is creeping into the side.

This, I believe, could be down to the ‘Quality over Quantity’ strategy that the club have gone for, where squad rotation is low.

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Ultimately, I feel this was a strength to begin with as the consistent team selection led to positively consistent results.

However, as was to be inevitable, with the more games played the more injuries we’re seeing and in turn, disjointed performances.

I’d expect soon that these mid-season signings which are common-place under our owners to freshen up the squad.

As Peter Freund, Executive Chairman,  told the ‘Full Time Daggers’ fanzine back in August, “It’s as much down to the players already on the pitch as it is bringing in that little bit of new life and blood – it makes a huge difference”.

In the recent fans’ forum, the panel were intent on not disrupting the team chemistry with incomings, but if these results continue I feel that incomings and a bit more ‘quantity’ will follow – at least I hope this is the case!

But, we must wait a couple more weeks I believe for this squad to get back on track before any knee-jerk reactions; Mauro Vilhete returning to the side will make a huge difference.

Mauro Vilhete of Dagenham & Redbridge FC during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Altrincham, Vanarama Nationa

Mauro Vilhete of Dagenham & Redbridge FC - Credit: David Loveday/TGS Photo

Hopefully, he unlocks our attacking potential once again today and the likes of Paul McCallum and Walker can get back scoring.

If either of those strikers net today it will give them that confidence boost going into one of the biggest games of the season on paper – Southend United at home next Saturday.

This is also true for the whole team whose confidence will no doubt have been knocked in recent weeks.

Let’s hope we do get back on track and progress in the cup this week, riding on that wave of confidence going into that huge Southend encounter. Until then, COYD!

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