Column: Daggers have restored faith and pride after terrific Eastleigh win

Paul McCallum of Dagenham & Redbridge

Paul McCallum of Dagenham & Redbridge - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Mission accomplished? I’d say so. The mission set out at the beginning of the week was to restore pride and faith in the team.

Raving remarks following Tuesday’s convincing win would evidence that has been achieved. 

However, this week of action wasn’t all plain-sailing, with last Saturday ending in defeat to Bromley. A good performance, the better team you might say, but the result didn’t prove that and that’s what counts at this stage of the season. 

It’s what counts as the chase for the play-offs requires few, if any, slip-ups at this stage - especially in Dagenham’s position.

Queue the rolling eyes and sights at that previous line, because as I stated last week, I believe the play-off hopes are over for another year. But, there are whispers of ‘play-off talk’ that have revived. 

I have to say, not from me, although the Eastleigh victory of one we can take a great deal of heart on - as we’ll get into.

First, just on the Ravens loss, it was a tale of two number nines and captured the mood of our whole season in ninety-minutes - ‘played well but can’t finish’. 

Michael Cheek with fewer chances than McCallum, yet he was all the more clinical - reflective of their goal scoring stats across the season. But, moving onto Tuesday, and McCallum received great praise as he made the scoresheet. 

He scored in a dominant, yes, dominant victory from Dagenham; secured as the spitfires were left spiralling out of control on Tuesday night. 

Getting back to winning ways, an excellent performance, was testament to the determination, professionalism and quality shown by every man in red and blue at Victoria Road on Tuesday.

To a man, they were superb, but the man of the match performance of Paul McCallum delighted Daggers supporters most. He was the McCallum we thought we’d bought on show on Tuesday night. 

Dominant in the air, a constant threat, hard-working and getting amongst the goals. McMahon received criticism this week on claiming we’ve some of the best strikers in the division - rightly, given our top-scorer scored just seven goals at that point. 

But, I think some were left scaling back their criticism following Tuesday; he has the potential to be the best - though, not the best, as McCallum has been in seasons gone by. 

Though, if performances replicating that of Tuesday’s follow in the coming weeks, I think support of McCallum’s ability and crucially - confidence in him - will improve. 

Likewise, for the team and manager himself, with faith and confidence of utmost importance going into next season - we must finish this campaign strong.

Now, I return to the mission, last week’s was accomplished and so what next? Well, that accomplishment was only as far as restoring pride and little else tangible, so I return to the aims of the season.

Few accomplishments in that respect, the main goal of play-offs looking out of the question, but as I say - faith will remain, I believe, so long as we finish in a respectable position. 

A respectable position being the top half of the table I’d say, and well, that push begins today at 12:30 - Solihull Moors the visitors at Victoria Road.

The Daggers looking to do the double over the Birmingham side, but the away side are going very strong with four wins in their last five. 

Nonetheless, it’s important that McMahon’s side secure a second win in a row to go on a run of their own. Also, there is the opportunity to leapfrog Solihull in mid-table. 

Just the one game this week, so it’s important to keep the positivity flowing for another seven days before the trip to Kings Lynn. 

Until then, Stay Safe and Come On You Daggers!  

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