Dagenham & Redbridge mid-season review

dag and redThe Football Lab interviewed Dagenham & Redbridge fan Nick Murphy. You can follow him on Twitter @NickMurphy1995
 
Your defence has looked very error-prone this season. What needs to be done to address that problem?
One of the main things we need to concentrate on is to try to cut out the individual errors that are leading to goals. We’ve given away the highest amount of penalties in the top four leagues which tells its own story, without that we’d undoubtedly be a good three or four points better off. If we can get the right balance between attacking and defending, and crucially start picking up points at home, we’ll find ourselves in a far healthier position.Wayne Burnett has recently moved to a 3-at-the-back system. Does that suit an attacking full-back, such as Damien Batt?

Given that Damien Batt’s style of play unfortunately doesn’t lend itself to defending particularly well, it has helped, yes. In the first game we played the system against Carlisle it worked tremendously, especially in an attacking sense, but since then it hasn’t really provided us with the same attacking impetus which is a shame. Again, it’s all about finding the right balance, and at the moment, it is missing once again.You noted pre-season that the team lacks a physical presence. Is that still an issue?

We’ve addressed it slightly by bringing in Ayo Obileye on loan from Charlton who’s been tremendous for us, but we still seem quite lightweight in the middle of the park. As I’ve noted throughout the season, I feel as though Wayne Burnett has moulded the team on what he wants and how he wants us to play, rather than what we need to be competitive in League Two which has ultimately been a main undoing this season. I’m no longer convinced he’s the right man for the job, but that’s a different topic of conversation altogether.Ade Yussuff single-handedly got you 3 points at Accrington, scoring an impressive brace. How have his other performances been this season?

He’s been a real shining light in a season otherwise devoid of promise. He has a rare combination of power and agility which makes him stand out as a forward player for us, and for all Burnett’s faults, finding Yussuff at Chatham Town has been a real coup for us. He’s the sort of player that excites you when you see his name on the teamsheet, and I have no doubt that he’ll go on to play at a higher level at some stage.Forward Jamie Cureton is arguably one of the best natural finishers at this level. Has he been an important signing, given the injury to Rhys Murphy?

Crucial. Without Jamie I have no idea where we’d be (Well, below Hartlepool I imagine!). He’s been involved in over 50% of all of our goals which tells its own story and not only that but he gives the supporters confidence akin to Yussuff when you see that he’s playing. It’s such a pity that we’re having such a poor season, because in his current form he really doesn’t deserve it.In the summer, you were undecided about where Dagenham & Redbridge would finish. With the team in the relegation zone, presumably survival is now the aim?

Essentially, yes. At the moment even survival is looking like an uphill task, and unless either Burnett is replaced or we can somehow turn our home form around with him at the helm, then I find it difficult to see us getting out of this mess. I like Burnett as a person, but as a manager, I just feel as though we’ve reached the point of no return largely as a result of our form at Victoria Road. It’s just not working, and the longer we go on, the less chance I feel as though we have of turning it around.