Taylor urges Daggers fans to give Still respect he deserves ahead of return with Barnet
PUBLISHED: 11:15 28 December 2018
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Still departed Daggers in May before taking over at Bees a day later
Current Dagenham & Redbridge boss Peter Taylor has urged the fans to give former manager John Still the respect he deserves when he returns to Victoria Road with Barnet in the Vanarama National League on Saturday.
Still previously managed Daggers in two stints and famously took them into League One in 2010.
The 68-year-old ended his third spell in charge of the Essex club in May, stating his decision was in order to help the club financially when money was tight.
Less than a day later, though, Still was confirmed as manager of the Bees, something which left a sour taste in many Daggers fans’ mouths.
The former manager of the Essex club was the subject of many chants when the sides met at The Hive at the end of August.
But ahead of Still’s first return to Victoria Road since resigning in May, Taylor says his predecessor is worthy of a good reception from the home faithful.
“John deserves a fantastic welcome on Saturday because he did an amazing job for the club and I for one have a lot of respect for him,” said the 65-year-old.
“I don’t want him to enjoy the game or the final whistle, but I want him to be respected as he should be.
“I’m sure he will be respected because the supporters know what a great job he did for them, but we want him to be on the losing team on Saturday.”
Daggers host Barnet having beaten high-flying Leyton Orient and Salford City in their last two matches to make it seven wins in an unbeaten eight-game run in all competitions.
It is some turnaround for Daggers who looked to be relegation candidates earlier the campaign after a run of five straight defeats between September and October.
The squad has seen plenty of change since then, with arrivals Angelo Balanta, Conor Wilkinson and Kenny Clark aiding the Essex club’s surge up the table.
Daggers’ recent form has led plenty to wonder what the team could have achieved had this squad been together at the start of the season, but Taylor isn’t one for guessing.
“At the start of the season, things were not going for us even though the players were working as hard as they are now,” he added.
“The difference now is we have a couple of strikers that can get goals or make us play a little bit more.
“With our effort, things are going for us and there have been times when the ball is hitting the bar for the opposition and not going in, whereas it was going in at the start.
“That was tough for everybody and Monday mornings weren’t enjoyable, but now when we come in, it’s a happy group.”
Among those two have become key players for Daggers in recent weeks are loanees Manny Onariase, Ben Goodliffe and Wilkinson, as well as Alex McQueen.
The deals for all four players, whether loans or permanent, are due to expire in January.
But Taylor says he is keen to keep that quartet at the club for as long as possible.
“We’re talking to the clubs and talking to the players, so hopefully we’ll have some success, but that doesn’t mean we’ll keep all of them,” he added.
“We’ve also got Will Wright on loan who’s been absolutely fabulous and he’s done a great job for us.
“There are five players with deals that expire in January and I am talking to them, so hopefully we can keep them.”