TT – Hi there Mark, so how would you summarise the Daggers season so far?
Mark – Really disappointing. We had high hopes over the summer, our new manager having given us some much improved performances at the back end of last season and with plenty of new arrivals. But it just hasn’t really worked. We look sterile going forward, we don’t have much threat in wide areas and that really limits us.
Who are your owners and how have they coped with 2020?
We are owned by an American consortium, Trinity Sports Holdings. They’ve been great since the day they arrived, having spent money on the clubhouse and stadium, and they’ve not wavered this year. It’s no secret that they’re putting in a bit of money on the playing side now, which is a bit of a first for us as a club.
How have the supporters helped the club during this difficult time?
I believe the take up on season tickets was very good despite the uncertainty, and I think the vast majority kept their ticket even when we were told fans wouldn’t be allowed entry to games. There were plenty of volunteers for our stadium maintenance days over the summer too. Most people I know have continued to buy merchandise, pay for streaming etc.
How’s your recent form been heading into Tuesday’s game?
Aside from Weymouth last Tuesday when we managed to score 3 goals, we simply do not look like scoring. We lost 1-0 to Altrincham on Saturday, who probably had 2 chances in the whole game – we are ripe for teams to nick a 1-0 against us unfortunately. The performance itself was ok without ever really threatening. We dominated for probably 45 minutes at Weymouth, and also for 45 against Aldershot albeit at 2-0 down, but we haven’t yet put together a 90 minute performance.
What’s been your highlights of the season so far?
Beating Grimsby 3-1 in the FA Cup probably. We battled really hard and showed a lot of character to win the game. Other than that… not much!
Who are your key players and why?
Elliot Justham our goalkeeper is one of the best around. He’s made some phenomenal saves already this season. He has actually made 2 mistakes resulting in goals too, but redeemed himself in both matches with excellent saves. I’d estimate he’s gained us 4 points by himself already.
Myles Weston is key by virtue of being our only proper winger. If you stop him, you are probably stopping the vast majority of our delivery into the box. He can be quite injury prone and a bit inconsistent, and we definitely rely on him a bit too much.
Paul McCallum will hopefully be back from suspension and looking to add to his goal tally. He’s got a few already despite not seeing a lot of the ball!
Who’s the gaffer and what tactics does he like to employ?
Daryl McMahon, the former Ebbsfleet manager. As for tactics, it seems almost impossible to say at the moment. When he first took over, he implemented a high-tempo pressing game and wanted to play the game in the opposition half. This year has been very different – we tend to sit deep and soak up pressure, but nobody is really sure why, especially as we have no real pace on the counter. We’ve tried numerous formations but can’t seem to find the right formula. I think he’d like to play 3-5-2 but injuries put paid to that, and currently we vary between 4-3-3 and 4-4-2, neither of which suit the personnel too much.
🎙️ MATCH REACTION:
Daryl McMahon gave his thoughts after this afternoon's 1-0 defeat to Altrincham.
Have you made it back to matches yet and what’s it been like?
Saturday against Altrincham was the first one for us at home. It didn’t really feel that much different to normal, except we were about 400 home fans short! That shortfall seemed to mainly be in the seats – the terracing was roughly as busy as a normal game whilst still being fairly well spaced out, but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted it to be any busier. I thought the club did a good job with the arrangements and the atmosphere was good – until we got beat!
Which opposition teams and players have impressed you most?
If I’m being honest, very little has stood out. Everyone seems roughly as good as each other from those I’ve seen so far. For example, one of our 3 wins was against Wealdstone and they’re near the top! That makes our position even more frustrating – it doesn’t feel like it would take a huge amount to make the play-offs. Sutton have maybe been the best team I’ve seen, in that they are a very cohesive unit with a clear identity.
And finally, can I have a match prediction for Tuesday night?
I’ll go for 1-1, but more in hope than in expectation!