McMahon: Daggers have nothing to lose at Gillingham

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon says they have to nothing to lose in their FA Cup second round replay at Gillingham.

Daggers visit the League Two strugglers on Thursday (7.15pm), with the winners hosting Premier League side Leicester City in the third round next month.

And they go into the clash, which will be televised, on the back of a 1-0 home defeat to National League basement boys Torquay United at the weekend.

But McMahon, although disappointed with the result, was generally pleased with how his team played.

“In terms of learning things, we did a lot right,” he told the club website. 

“Sometimes you can look at a result and black and white but the grey bit in the middle is called the performance and what did we do to try and get in the game. Did we do a lot of the things that we normally do well? We did. 

“They just didn’t fall for us, we didn’t take the opportunities when they come. That happens.

“We can pick the bones out of the performance, perform similarly to what we did today but be a bit more ruthless and clinical in the final third and we know it’s a tough game.

“We go there, we will be the underdogs and we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“We’re really, really looking forward to that game and I’ve been giving this line after every game, whether we’re winning or drawing recently, onto the next game. You’re only as good as your next game and we will get ready for Thursday night.”

Luck certainly appeared to desert McMahon’s men against the Gulls at Victoria Road, with the home side hitting the woodwork no fewer than four times.

But he was pleased with the performance of substitutes Jay Bird and George Saunders, adding: “I wanted Jay a bit more central to hold it up for us so Josh [Walker] and Junior [Morias] could get around him. 

“He did that in spells and had a chance, he hit the post as well. We know he is a handful when he’s in the box.

“George was outstanding, absolutely outstanding. It’s very hard to give a player man of the match for 30 minutes but I probably would’ve for us.

“He came on, showed what he is about, was aggressive with the ball, showed his speed, one v one, crosses, shots, as soon as he came on.

“His set-pieces were excellent as well and I thought it was a really good performance from him. We’re delighted to have him back.”

The loss left Daggers four points away from the play-off places with a game in hand, with this weekend’s trip to Gateshead postponed ahead of a home date with Eastleigh on Tuesday.

But the boss was keen to remain positive, adding: “One didn’t fall for us, or we hit the post or we made the wrong choice a lot as well.

“There was bits around the box where we’ve overhit the cross and we didn’t need to. Little details around the box we didn’t get right, which we normally do.

“I don’t know if that’s because we were a little bit anxious in the sense that we wanted to win this game quite badly to be fair, when you’re at home.

“The players gave everything they had. I’ve got no gripes with that at all, the fans were terrific, the players were clapped off at the end.

“I think they appreciated the effort and the work ethic of the boys and the fact we kept going and put Torquay under severe pressure, but we didn’t manage to break them.”

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