Strevens: Positives to take and things to work on for Dagenham & Redbridge

Strevens took charge of the side for the first time and saw Jay Bird open the scoring in the National League encounter at Victoria Road.

But substitute Mike Fondop headed a late equaliser for the Latics to deny Strevens a debut victory and leave Daggers nine points off a play-off place with nine games left. 


“There were positives to take and things to work on,” Strevens told the club website.

“We were so close to getting the three points that they worked really hard to try and secure.

“I think that workrate and endeavour they showed to try and hold onto something probably got us a little bit deep in the second half, invited them on.

“They put more attacking players on the pitch to try and get that goal back, so it’s not always us, they got us to sit back. And unfortunately from a set play we’ve conceded.

“There’s no beating anyone up over conceding from a set play because it’s happened over the course of the season.

“People are trying to do their jobs, trying to do the right things, they had loads of big players on by that point.

“Rooney put a good delivery in, the lad has climbed at the back stick over the back of Johnno.

“We were aware that was probably going to be their biggest threat, probably that and Rooney in and around the box, shooting from range, and it worked out like that as well, him in that area and with balls going into the box.

“So close to holding on so it is a bit of a gutter and horrible feeling to concede it, but the workrate and endeavour was there as a group, we’ve just got to work on them as to how they get up the pitch, that’s moving the ball better and securing a few more passes, and trusting each other to move up the pitch as well.”

Strevens made four changes to the side that had started their previous match against leaders Wrexham 11 days, with young goalkeeper Josh Strizovic handed a debut in the absence of injured Elliot Justham.

George Saunders, Elliott Johnson and Harry Phipps also came in, for Myles Weston, Dean Rance and Angelo Balanta and Daggers saw Bird and Manny Onariase go close with early headers.

Bird also fired just over the crossbar, before swapping passes with Mo Sagaf and sending a shot on the turn inside the far post.

And Strevens was pleased by the opening 45 minutes of his tenure, adding: “I had little bits to talk to them about at the break but I thought especially when we were transitioning and breaking on them we were causing chances and probably had a couple that we should maybe have done a bit better with, with good balls going in and just flashing past.

“There was good signs in the little bits and pieces they played and work is going to come with it. We changed the formation up and had a bit of a change in personnel in the last couple of days as well with a few boys missing out with injury but all in all there was some good performances as a group and things for us to work on.”

There was a moment of controversy early in the second half when Inih Effiong was brought down by Joe Yarney just outside the Oldham box, but Strevens – having not seen a replay of the incident – remained diplomatic when asked if he felt it was a red card offence.

“I think there was probably quite a way to go when Inih broke,” he said.

“We know Inih so we’re thinking he’s through and going to get away from the other two defenders. From the referee’s point of view he might’ve thought it was a long way to go between there and the goal to try and get the shot away.

“Them moments sometimes go for you and sometimes don’t. If that had been Manny or Phippsy, would I have been disappointed? I probably would if it had been a red card.”

Oldham made the most of that decision to eventually draw level thanks to Fondop six minutes from time, but it was a decent first outing for Daggers under their new boss.

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