Phipps reveals exactly what he had to work on to end his exile from Daggers' line-up
PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 November 2018
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Midfielder was handed first start for Essex club in almost two months on Saturday
Harry Phipps has revealed exactly what Dagenham & Redbridge manager Peter Taylor told him to work on during a two-month spell out of the starting XI.
The midfielder, who joined in the summer from Maidstone United, was in from the off in a 2-1 win at home to Harrogate Town in the Vanarama National League on Saturday — his first start on August 14.
The 20-year-old certainly took his chance and was one of a string of candidates for man of the match in that game.
It was a tough-tackling, all-action display in midfield from Phipps, but the youngster says Taylor told him there was another aspect of his game that had to improve if he wanted to return to the starting XI.
“The manager wanted me to work on my decision making and on shifting the ball a bit quicker,” revealed the midfielder after the win over Harrogate.
“I like to get on the ball, but there is a time and a place to do that, which I learnt in my two months out of the starting XI. I learnt when to play the ball and when not to.”
It was a surprise recall on Saturday for Phipps, who had not even played for Daggers since coming off the bench in a 2-0 loss at Solihull Moors on September 25.
And the midfielder admitted he was as surprised as anyone when Taylor told him he would be starting against Harrogate.
The ex-Maidstone man added: “I only knew I’d be back in the starting XI on Friday.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all, but we set up in training on Friday with the XI we were going to play. We set up well and went on from there.”
While Phipps had been away from the starting XI, Taylor had favoured the likes of Will Wright and Harry Donovan in central midfield.
Donovan only came on as a stoppage-time replacement for Phipps against Harrogate, while Wright was left out of the matchday squad altogether.
And the teenager was delighted to make the most of his surprise recall, but hopes he does enough in the coming weeks to keep hold of his place in the XI.
Phipps said: “There’s two positions in central midfield and we’ve got quite a lot of options in that area, so it was good that I took my chance on Saturday. Hopefully I can stay in the starting XI now.”