Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon expects another tough test as his side return to National League action at Aldershot Town.
Daggers earned a 1-0 win at Maidenhead United in the FA Cup at the weekend, setting up a home tie against Fylde or Gillingham in the second round later this month.
And they go in search of more points this evening, in a bid to climb up the table from their current position of 12th.
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“It will be very tough. We know it will be difficult going there, they’ve obviously had the weekend off, they lost last week to Torquay [6-1],” McMahon told the club website.
“They’ve had a week to get ready for this game, they’ve got some good players, we know it will be a tough game, but it’s one we’re looking forward to performing in.
“They’ve had a difficult time as a club, lost their manager, so they’ve obviously got something they’ve got to sort out, but we know on the pitch, 11-v-11, every game in this league is tough and we have to be about our business.”
Shots won three games in a row after sacking Mark Molesley following their FA Cup exit at Chelmsford, but were brought back to earth with a bump in their heavy defeat at bottom club Torquay a week ago.
But McMahon doesn’t think a free weekend will help the Hampshire club especially, in comparison to his side playing on Saturday.
“Normally when a manager changes there is a reaction for a period. We’ve seen that over the years at every level, that happens,” he added.
“They’ve had since close of play last Tuesday against Torquay, they’ve been able to have a focus on us probably for a week.
“We’ve had to have a game, obviously, in between. We had to focus on a tough game going to Maidenhead and we’ve had a recovery day and prep day, so they’ve had a bit more of that.
“But you’re used to it in this league, I don’t think it will make any difference to be perfectly honest.”
McMahon will have Sam Smart, Aaron Blair and Tyreke Johnson available once again, having been cup-tied, and is hoping his squad can maintain their recent form in front of their travelling fans.
“If you look at our last block of games, going back six, seven, eight games, probably taking the Halifax performance out which wasn’t great from us, the rest we’ve been very good.
“Whether we’ve won or drawn, we’ve performed really well,” he said.
“The last three games, our defence has been excellent. We’ve shown real resilience, real desire to block shots, stop crosses, and we have to continue in the same vein.
“Everyone knows who we’re missing, but we’ve still got a good group of players here and we get Smarty, Aaron and Ty back, so they will thicken our squad up as well.
“The club has always had a strong fan base with the affiliation to the players.
“The fans recognise what we’ve had happen to us this season in terms of the players we’ve lost and it’s difficult when that happens to you.
“But they’ve got right behind the players, they can see the players are giving everything, which they are, and long may that continue as we move up the table.”