Harris delighted by Dagenham progress

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Dagenham & Redbridge assistant manager Terry Harris admits being 90 minutes away from a place in League One is "hard to believe".

Harris has spent over 10 years with the club and has seen them climb the league ladder every year since John Still took charge in 2004.

The minnows will be backed by over 13,000 fans in tomorrow's play-off final with Rotherham and Harris is amazed at the progress made in a short space of time at Victoria Road.

He said: "Playing in League one is a massive incentive and it is hard to believe.

"A decade ago we were mid-table in the Ryman League and next season we could be playing in the same division as Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Charlton.

"Back in those days there were 20-30 non-league clubs in the south-east who were similar in size and support to ourselves.

"But we are the only ones who have gone on to establish ourselves as a Football League side and now we could even be a League One team.

"It's remarkable."

The Daggers finished seventh in the final Coca-Cola League Two table but demolished Morecambe 7-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals and Harris believes there is no reason for Rotherham to start as favourites.

He said: "We qualified as the seventh and last-placed side, but there was only one point between all four sides.

"You only have to see what Blackpool achieved last weekend (in the Championship play-off final) to see that the lowest-placed side are never at a disadvantage.

"In fact, there is a real run of success for lowest-placed sides."

Still will name an unchanged side from the Morecambe win, providing midfielder Peter Gain can overcome a calf problem.

Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore believes winning promotion would be his greatest achievement as Millers manager.

Moore returned to the South Yorkshire club in September for a second spell in charge after a four-and-a-half-year absence and guided them to a fifth-placed finish and a subsequent semi-final showdown with Aldershot.

A comfortable victory over Kevin Dillon's men over two legs followed to set up the Wembley showpiece with Dagenham, putting Moore within 90 minutes of earning a third promotion with the club.

The 57-year-old Liverpudlian famously guided the Millers to back-to-back promotions from the third tier to the Championship in his first spell in charge before keeping them there for four years and overseeing wins against the likes of West Ham, West Brom and Leeds.

But Moore insists that victory at Wembley will surpass all of his previous achievements.

"It will probably be the best of the promotions for me in the way that we have had to do it," he said.

"Where we are, for the players to produce the togetherness they have, I think that would be the best of all the promotions we've had.

"We've got our offices in Rotherham, we train in Doncaster and play in Sheffield, there's not many teams that have to put up with that. So for our lads to get themselves 90 minutes away from promotion shows what an achievement it's been for them.

"When you look at where the club has been with the points deductions, it's just nice there is some joy and happiness about the town."

Victory would also ensure personal retribution for Moore, who was surprisingly sacked as Tranmere manager last summer, despite just missing out on the League One play-offs.

"I have seen a lot of things in football but that one really knocked the stuffing out of me and I didn't see it coming," he said.

"It scarred me quite a bit and took me a while to get over it. It's part of football, but sometimes it's warranted and sometimes you just scratch your head.

"It was the lowest I've been, but winning at Wembley will heal a lot of wounds."

Moore could make one change to his side, with on-loan Josh Walker the likely man to come into the side in a central midfield role, replacing Danny Harrison or Pablo Mills.

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Josh Walker
Pablo Mills
Dagenham & Redbridge
Peter Gain
Danny Harrison
League Two

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