Dagenham & Redbridge fans deserve better says Strevens

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Ben Strevens says he wants to give the club’s supporters a team that represents their values on the pitch.

Daggers host FC Halifax Town in their last home match of the 2022-23 National League season at Victoria Road on Saturday, having lost the Essex derby at Southend last weekend.

They made the long trip to Altrincham in midweek, with Strevens fuming at the manner of their 2-0 reverse at Roots Hall.

And he pulled no punches in his post-match interview as he sympathised with the fans who had witnessed their latest defeat.

“I’ve seen it in the home games, and the away games and I see it today. They’re not happy at what they’re seeing on a Saturday,” he told the club website.

“They’ve seen players at this club that are less talented work harder. That’s a fact.

“Players will less ability being given a chance, play for the club and represent them as people.

“You have to be humble enough to know who you are, what you are and what you represent.

“We’re representing people that want to see players playing for the club and the badge, working every single game, good, bad or indifferent, and be proud of them.

“They’ve had moments across the year and last year when they’ve seen that quality has shone out.

“We’ve got one of the best goalkeepers in the league, without a shadow of a doubt, unbelievable, and we’ve got boys and have had boys in the attacking third that have got lots and lots of goals.

“All the rest of it is soft – plain and simple as that. They recognise it, they can’t be kidded, they’re not stupid. They can’t be kidded to what they see each and every game.”

Two Jack Bridge penalties early in the second half sent Daggers to a fourth loss in seven matches under Strevens and he said he is now clear about what he needs to do.

And he is well aware of what a big job it is, adding: “I have to be very understanding and certain with what I’m trying to do from now until the end of the season because I wanted to give everyone a chance, to see them as people, as characters, but I think I’ve seen enough now. 

“I know what I need to do. I’ve known what I need to do for weeks and I think the club knows what it needs to do as well.

“We need a group fighting for this club every single game. We will lose games, that’s the nature of it but they need to see a team they want to be proud of and want representing them as people and that’s what I’ve got to do.

“It’s not going to be easy. I can’t lie and say I think it’s going to be easy.

“I was really encouraged about coming in here when I first come here. There’s lot of stuff to do that they’re going to see on the pitch but there’s lots of stuff I need to do away from the pitch to make that the place that the players are going to get better and want to be here.

“That’s making sure I keep the right people here moving forward and I’ve got to recruit good people who are going to come and play for this club and want to be at Dagenham & Redbridge and want to do better and that’s a big task for me.”


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