Saturday afternoon saw yet another defeat for the struggling Dagenham & Redbridge side who have just one victory to their name in their last eight league fixtures.
A 3-1 drubbing at the hands of relegation-battling Solihull Moors at the Chigwell Construction Stadium seemed to dent the morale of the supporters – yet it hasn’t hindered the attitude of manager John Still just yet.
“We deserved to get beat. I thought we started ok, but they got two quick goals – our Achilles heel has been our defending,” said the Daggers boss.
After finishing in fourth place last season, expectations are high for the Non-League outfit who are joint second in scoring this campaign. But at the forefront of their current downfall has been their lack of ability in defence.
“I’m not concerned; it’s more disappointing. From the start of the season I would’ve expected to be up at the top like last year, and our goals suggest we can do that, but defensively we’re not coping well – through any of the [defensive] combinations to be honest with you,” said Still.
A selection of the home support were disillusioned at the lack of effort displayed by certain players on the pitch on what became a dismal Saturday afternoon. But, the coach believes the abuse is not the best way to channel their anger and disappointment with the squad.
“People have to remember that I’m also a supporter of this club, and we haven’t played well today. But, I always say this to fans: look at where the club were, we got relegated – it happens. We bounced back fantastic last year, gave everyone a good year and we were unlucky. We’ve had a good run this year, but now we’re having a little bit of a disappointing time – but that’s football.
“Supporters support their team – they criticise the team, and the time to criticise is not now. I don’t believe it serves a purpose. I know how hard I work, and everyone at the club works, but supporters will be supporters.”
As eluded to earlier, the problem lies within the defence for Still’s men, but it is the particular area on the field where the club are yet to find the ideal partnerships at the back.
“We’re constantly searching for the best combination defensively. When we thought we found it, we went on a little run of games of not conceding, but then it can come back to haunt, so we’re still searching,” he explained.
The east London outfit are well within reach of a playoff berth, but recent form would suggest that an automatic promotion is looking increasingly unlikely. Nonetheless, their experienced leader is anticipating a stern response from his players.
“When things are disappointing, the only thing to do is respond to disappointment. In adversity, everyone has to be strong,” he said.
Next up for Still’s men is a trip to FC Halifax Town on Saturday where the club will be determined to ditch the animosity towards the management and situation of the team.