Taylor feels Daggers fans should be proud of league position
PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 March 2019
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Essex club return to action at home to Dover Athletic on Tuesday
Peter Taylor believes Dagenham & Redbridge fans should be pleased with the club’s position in the Vanarama National League table ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Dover Athletic
Daggers host the Whites in midweek, safely ensconced in mid-table having pulled away from the relegation zone in recent weeks.
After the first three months of the new term, the Essex club had seemed likely to be embroiled in a long battle for survival this term.
However, a run of eight wins from 10 matches between October and December lifted the Victoria Road outfit well up the table.
Though Daggers have been unable to match that form of late, the Essex club remain on course to avoid relegation this term.
And boss Taylor believes that some fans would have thought that implausible earlier in the campaign given how bad things seemed at the time.
He told the club website: “If you spoke to the fans a month into the season, they would have been nervous and looking at a young squad, wondering if things would get better.
“We were getting beaten back then, but only by the odd goal.
“Two and three months into the season, they were thinking that we were in trouble, but we got the opportunity to bring in some more experienced players and good quality players come in and they’ve helped the team.
“If somebody said then that at this stage we’d have a really good chance of staying up, our supporters would have grabbed it.”
Daggers are now on the run-in to the end of the campaign, and the Essex club will be keen to finish on a high.
The Victoria Road outfit have an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, including Angelo Balanta after the forward recently returned from a hamstring injury.
And Taylor is understandably delighted to be able to call on a player of Balanta’s calibre once more.
“Having a player like Angelo back is important and that’s why you can’t rush them back because they are so important to you on the pitch that you can’t afford play them when they’re only 90 per cent fit,” he added.
“In Angelo’s case, he had a hamstring injury and if you take a gamble with that, there’s a chance he could be out for a long, long time if it flared up.
“We don’t want that, which is why I’m always very careful with my team selection.
“I’m much happier approaching the last run of games with a near-on fit squad because I know that our near-on fit squad will get us some wins.”