Dagenham & Redbridge expect different game at Wealdstone


Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon expects a ‘totally different game’ against National League rivals Wealdstone this weekend.

Daggers won 4-1 when the sides met at Victoria Road in late October, but head to Grosvenor Vale with just one more point than their rivals, who have played one game more.

Stones fell to a 2-1 home defeat against lowly Gateshead last weekend, before a goalless draw in midweek at Yeovil, who were 2-0 winners over Daggers last Saturday.

READ MORE: https://www.barkinganddagenhampost.co.uk/sport/23283419.national-league-dagenham-redbridge-0-yeovil-town-2/

And McMahon told the club website: “Every game is different, there’s no two games that are the same that I can remember.

“They scored from a corner late in the game, we were disappointed with the goal we conceded, but we played well on the day.

“That will mean absolutely nothing this Saturday, it’s a totally different game, a much different game, probably different personnel as well I’m sure.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re at it and do the best we can do on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to the game, we know it’s going to be a tough game at Wealdstone.

“Stuart [Maynard] has done a really good job there, they’ve got a decent group and we know it will be a tough one.”

Junior Morias struck twice in the previous meeting, along with Harry Phipps and Josh Walker, who left to join League One side Burton Albion on transfer deadline day.

“They’re a good team first and foremost,” added McMahon.

“They play off the ball really well, they build up from the back. They have done it since Stu has been there, they’re a very good football side, I think that’s their biggest quality.

“In possession of the ball they’re dangerous, they try to dominate and it’s something we have to be good against in terms of winning it back, good at transitions, and good on the ball ourselves.”

Walker topped the scoring charts for Daggers with 12 goals, but joined Burton for an undisclosed fee.

And McMahon, having admitted he was gutted to see the player leave, was also pleased to help develop Walker’s career.

“First and foremost, delighted for Josh to be able to go and ply his trade in League One. He’s been terrific since he’s been here for 18 months with us, he’s developed really well, worked hard, great attitude, so he deserves that shot.

“Part of your job as a manager, as much as it is improving a team, it’s  improving individuals within a team.

“Me and my staff, since we’ve been here, that’s the fifth player in three years that’s gone to the Football League from us so we’re proud that we can help people on their journey as well. We wish Josh every success.”

McMahon still has plenty of attacking options and says it’s now up to those players to take their opportunities.

“We have to look for options within the group internally and if we have to externally we can do that,” he said.

“When you look at our recruitment over the time I’ve been here, we’ve not been a team that has gone out and spent thousands and thousands on players from the Football League.

“We’ve had to take people like Josh, who left Barnet, or Mo Sagaf who didn’t have a club, or George Saunders from Hornchurch, Jay Bird didn’t have a club, Sidney [Ibie] from Northwood. 

“We’ve had to find little gems and try and polish them up. That’s been the way we’ve worked and we’ll have to do that again.

“We know we’ve got people in the building, we’ve got Macca, we’ve got Junior, Angelo, Jay Bird, Sidney, we’ve got good options at the club and need to step up to the plate and score some goals.

“We’re not ones that go out and spend. There’s teams in the division that go out and buy someone from League One or League Two. We’re not that type of club and we haven’t been since I’ve been here.

“We have to make sure we find the right people at the right price that fit what we want to do and move forward.

“For me coming to the club three years ago that was a big thing, developing our players is important to us.

“When I got here we were near the bottom of the division, we’ve managed to improve the team and squad to be competing for the play-offs, and we’ve been able to produce individuals good enough to go and play in the Football League and that’s something we want to go and do.”

Sam Ling is available, having been forced off in the early stages against Yeovil following a clash of heads, but fellow defender Josh Hare faces a couple of weeks out with a back injury.

Angelo Balanta has returned to training and McMahon hopes to have him available for selection in the not-too-distant future.

“He’s coming along really nicely and he got through a really tough session on Tuesday, he did really well,” he added.

“We’ll see what he’s like for the weekend, we won’t push him. If not for the weekend, we hope by Oldham on Tuesday and we go into February, we’ve got lots of games and we’d like to get him back involved as quick as we can.”

Daggers sit just outside the play-off places on goal difference as they start a busy month, with eight scheduled fixtures.

After visiting Wealdstone and Oldham Athletic in the coming days, they host Solihull Moors (Feb 11) and Eastleigh (Feb 14) back-to-back, before going out on the road again to Scunthorpe (Feb 18).

A midweek home date with Aldershot (Feb 21) is followed by a trip to high-flying Notts County (Feb 25) and rearranged fixture at Maidenhead United (Feb 28).

“To be ready mentally as well as physically, we know we’ve got lots of difficult games this month, lots of travelling as well so we’ve got to be ready for that,” added McMahon.

“But hopefully we’ve got the numbers we can call on to make sure we’ve got energetic teams in all the games we play.

“We know we’re in a run-in now with five or six teams fighting out for two or three places in the play-offs, so we’ve got to stay focused.

“We know there’s going to be ups and downs, we’ve got to keep on rising to the challenge and look forward to Wealdstone on Saturday.”

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