Opposition's View - Dagenham & Redbridge
Feature by Jacob Daniel
Updated Friday, 21st August 2009
NCM speaks to a dagger ahead of tomorrow's clash.With the League Two matches now coming thick and fast, it's time for another opposition's view feature and this week we speak to Dagenham & Redbridge fan Lee Wilson about being top of the league and just how magical John Still's wand actually is.
1. Top of the league then! Were you expecting that after losing so many players in the summer?
Of course! No seriously, the majority of our fans, including myself, were expecting and hoping for a steady mid table season. It could still go that way of course but the new lads have settled in a lot quicker than I thought they would and all credit has to go to John Still who time and time again seems to pull a rabbit or two out of the hat.
2. You just missed out on the play-offs last season on the last day. Do you think it could've been a bit too early for you anyway?
I think it will always be too early to be honest. Our budget is literally nothing so we have to turn to youth and find the unpolished gems in the non-league. There is no better man for that than John Still so whilst he is at the helm nothing is impossible. I think if we did ever go up to League 1 we would definitely put up a fight but whether we'd survive or not, I don't know.
3. Paul Benson rejected Shrewsbury the other week, how important was it to hold onto him?
Simply huge. To be successful you need a goalscorer. Simple as that. Our other strikers are all capable of scoring goals but Benson is always the one that is in the right place at the right time and can so often be the difference between winning and drawing a game. You just have to look at last season. We had some fantastic creators in Ritchie and Saunders but when Benson was injured our results suffered.
4. John Still has brought in a lot of new players. Who should we be looking out for tomorrow?
Danny Green on the right side of midfield is going to be one hell of a player. He's very raw at the moment. Immense pace and can skin a full back but does lack a bit of consistency. He had a 10 minute inspirational spell against Torquay when he scored two goals so we shall see. If your left back doesn't like defending against pace he will be in trouble.
Josh Scott has impressed me greatly since he joined from Hayes and Yeading. Very big and Muscular and already has two goals to his name this season.
Stuart Thurgood from Grays, formerly Gillingham, has been the biggest surprise so far. Gillingham fans completely wrote him off, said he wasn't league standard. I have no idea why he didn't succeed there. Maybe he was asked to play a role out of his comfort zone. Personally, I think the manager is just an arse so that's my reasoning. So far for us, he has been sensational. Will not give your midfield a second on the ball, will crunch into every tackle. A real ball winner that has given our midfield a different dimension this season.
5. Is there anyone on the Notts side who you're particularly concerned about?
Ben Davies and Lee Hughes. Davies I rate as the best midfielder in the division. Shrewsbury will struggle without him this season. Hughes is probably the best striker in the division. He'll certainly test our defence although we've been very solid so far. Forget the three goals against Torquay. One was a wonderstrike, one was a ridiculous penalty and the other was a cheeky flick from a corner.
6. What do you think the season will hold for both Daggers and Notts?
Notts will most definitely be top 7. If you aren't then something must have gone completely wrong. Top 3 will depend on whether your squad is up to toughing out the tight games. The likes of Chesterfield away are those sorts of games and if you can win more of them than you lose you should be in there.
7. Thanks Lee! Finally, a prediction for the match?
I would love us to get a hard earned point. Realistically you should win but i'm hoping the pressure of trying to avoid a second defeat on the bounce will prove your undoing. Can see you edging it 2-1.