Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still hopes Bank Holiday weekend fixtures against Wrexham and Sutton United does not spell double trouble
PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 August 2016
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Daggers boss fully focussed on visit of Robins, but knows he may have to make changes for trip to U’s two days later
If Dagenham & Redbridge were in need of an early reminder as to how difficult it is to win promotion from the National League, they will certainly get that this weekend.
The visitors to Victoria Road on Saturday are Wrexham, who spent 87 years in the Football League before relegation in 2008.
The Robins have struggled in their quest to end their exile since then, having finished in a play-off position just three times in eight seasons.
The Victoria Road outfit have set about ensuring their wait to return to the Football League will not be as long having started the new campaign with four wins from five matches.
Craig Robson headed in his first league goal for the club last weekend at Woking, before further strikes from Jordan Maguire-Drew and Fejiri Okenabirhie handed Daggers into a 3-0 half-time lead.
Though the hosts were able to pull one back, the Essex club held on to move up to second in the standings, three points behind early leaders Tranmere Rovers.
And though Wrexham’s woes in the National League since relegation offer a cautionary tale ahead of the weekend, Daggers boss John Still knows he must focus on his squad if they are to keep their good form up.
“I’m fully aware of how difficult this league is, but I’m not even
looking at that,” he said.
“I’m looking at it game-by-game and after a certain amount of games I have in my head, then I’ll know where we are.”
Regardless of what happens on Saturday, Still will have less than 48 hours to ready his troops for their next task as they visit Sutton United on Bank Holiday Monday.
The U’s have made a remarkable start to their first season back in non-league’s top flight for 16 years after winning the National League South last term, taking 10 points from a possible 15 to sit third in the table.
Both teams are likely to have to juggle their squads at Gander Green Lane with the fixtures over the Bank Holiday coming in quick succession.
Still has used just 15 players in the five matches to date, while at this stage last season 19 players had already featured.
And while the Daggers boss knows this weekend presents him with a difficult challenge in regards to team selection, Still is confident the squad can cope with the rigours of playing twice in three days.
“It depends, but possibly we will have to make changes to the squad after the Wrexham game,” added the Daggers boss.
“We wil have a little look, we’re going to give those who have played all the games an extra day off ahead of the weekend.
“They’ve had a lot of games, so they need the recovery time. We’re fit anyway, but they need the recovery time.”