Bas Savage and Kayleden Brown have big roles to play

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A fortnight ago, I wrote on here in my previous Daggers’ post that John Still’s side would perhaps need to use a supposed ‘underdogs’ tag going into games to motivate them to get results. After all Daggers’ fans would admit that the side are up against the odds to stay in the npower League One this season.

So with that in mind, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to see the boys gain their second away win of the season up at Brunton Park against a good Carlisle side last weekend. It was a tremendous performance and one that would without question have left Daggers fans smiling all the way home on their ten hour-round trip that ticked up something like 635-640 miles.

Some could argue that last week’s victory could just be the club’s second best ever victory at Football League level just behind last year’s play-off final victory over Rotherham. For the side to go to Carlisle who are a side sitting in the top half and not only win but keep a clean sheet is a remarkable result.

Carlisle had won six of their previous eight in all competitions before the game and would have been clear favourites to win. Even before Medy Elito and Danny Green’s late goals to win the game, Daggers could have been leading but for Romain Vincelot and Bas Savage spurning chances. Green’s goal to clinch it a minute from time was a stunning strike to say the least.

Green has the ability to be a success at this level whether or not Daggers can survive this season and the way he took his goal really sums up his confidence of late. As for Elito, his strike was his second goal for the season since joining on loan from Colchester and there is more to follow surely for the already popular midfielder.

What made that result even more important looking back on it was the fact Walsall who had started the week in bottom place secured an equally surprising result at Charlton winning thanks to a late Matt Richards goal. By winning up at Carlisle it ensured that the Daggers were still ahead of Walsall who like Yeovil at the moment look to be a side that will be there or there abouts in the relegation places this year.

At the weekend, Daggers were meant to be squaring off against Peterborough at home. Gary Johnson’s side were many people’s tips for promotion at the start of the season and few could argue against them pushing for promotion now. As luck would have it the weather put pay to that which now leaves – weather permitting of course – the prospect of Brighton up next for Still’s men.

Going up against Brighton, one of the most attractive sides in the division is another tough game. However despite the fact Gus Poyet’s men are the leagues leaders, the players must believe that they can get something out of that game.

After all if you can go to Carlisle and win, you should then feel confident of ending the year on a high by at least getting a point at home shouldn't you. Plus the game is on Boxing Day and it would be great for the fans to have a nice day after Christmas wouldn’t it?

Brighton aside, every Daggers fan at the moment has got their eyes set on December 28th when the team travel away to the Bescot Stadium to face Walsall. It’s fair to say that at this stage of the season already, that game is looking like a six pointer. It would be a huge game to win, with the possible winner not only getting a vital three points but also the knowledge of how gut wrenching a loss it would be for the team that loses.

No doubt the likes of Savage and Kayleden Brown will feature in those games. Off the pitch those two have extended their services at Victoria Road with Brown’s loan from WBA being for another month whilst the experienced Savage has signed onto the end of the season. That’s good news as both have put in effort for the cause recently which will no doubt please Still and the fans.

With the division being so tight, it's vital the Daggers pick up something from that game and go into the New Year confident in their fight for survival in Npower League One. After all going on a run of wins and picking up points on a regular basis is exactly what Still will be requiring, that's for sure.

Here’s to a good end to the year to everyone connected with the club.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Dagenham & Redbridge
League One
Bas Savage

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