Dagenham & Redbridge captain Robinson wants to see ‘us’ in FA Cup tie

Dagenham & Redbridge captain Matt Robinson admitted he wants to see ‘us’ when they take on League Two Gillingham in the FA Cup second round this weekend.

Daryl McMahon’s in-form National League side go into the tie unbeaten in five matches – and with only one defeat in 10 – and will look to make home advantage count at Victoria Road.

And Robinson, speaking alongside McMahon at a press conference ahead of the big match, was clear about what he wanted to see on Saturday.

“Us. It sounds very simple to say but the fans, we as players, the gaffer, know what I mean when I say that,” he said.

“Us is commitment, playing good football and playing to win. With an FA Cup game, it’s a one-off game, so that’s all you really can do.

“The consequence is you’re out or you’re into that hat. Everyone romanticises about a big team in the third round and I’m not going to lie and say we haven’t thought like that as players, maybe not so much as staff.

“I want to see us and I want to see us win.”

Robinson also revealed some special FA Cup memories of his own while looking ahead to the visit of Neil Harris’ side.

And he is hoping to play a more direct role in trying to create another, adding: “My best memory is when Leicester won a couple of years ago, lifting the trophy for my hometown team.

“As a player, funnily enough it was a game I didn’t play in. It was the fifth round proper for Luton, I was on the bench, I was 18, they beat Norwich away at Carrow Road. 

“That was just insane, the atmosphere, the spectacle, to beat a Premier League team as a Conference team.”

Daggers bowed out of the competition at the hands of League Two side Salford City last season, going down 1-0 on home turf.

And Robinson says they learned a valuable lesson during that second-round exit.

“We probably should’ve won. We conceded early, which is never a good sign in any game,” he added.

“It’s about us and the performance that we put in and if we play similarly to how we have been, we can beat any opponent on our day.

“As for Saturday, it’s treating every game with respect, that respect being we play our best, and I think if enough of us are at our best we will win.”

A late goal from new signing Jay Bird earned Daggers a 2-1 league win over lowly Scunthorpe last weekend, which leaves them with a record of just one defeat in 10 home matches this season.

And Robinson revealed they had enjoyed a good week of training in preparation for their next FA Cup test.

“We’ve approached it like we approach every game, firstly respecting the opponents, that’s one thing we emphasise,” he added.

“Everyone deserves our respect, in the sense that they deserve the best of us, so we’ve implemented that into this game.

“The lads are looking forward to it, especially at home. We’ve had such a good record at home and we think it’s a winnable game.

“We’re going into it with confidence and hopefully we can bring the result.”

As for how they might achieve the desired result and what he, as skipper, will be saying to his teammates ahead of kick-off, Robinson was quite clear.

“Everyone has their own methods of how they like to do things,” he said.

“Some people like a bit of quiet, some like getting a bit raucous and geeing everyone up.

“The thing I just try to say to everyone is play our game, don’t get drawn into anything that’s not to do with us. The way other teams play.

“The gaffer is very honest and, I’m not saying strict, but he does tell us to play our game, that’s his instructions.

“The lads know what we’re doing and I think one of the main reasons we’ve had such good performances back to back is the familiarity between the players has grown and hopefully it’s the same on Saturday.”

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