Dagenham & Redbridge are preparing for another year in the National League as a fourth-place finish was not enough to see the side return to the Football League on the first time of asking.
A season which was dominated by Lincoln City’s success meant that the Daggers finished 15 points behind the league leaders. Dagenham & Redbridge secured a total of 84 points last season from 26 wins and six draws.
As Lincoln and Tranmere Rovers battled it out for the top spot, Forest Green Rovers and Aldershot Town were the main division rivals for John Still’s side.
Although Dagenham won more games than both sides they lost out to Forest Green in the play-off semi-finals. Rovers then eventually went on to win the play-off final against Tranmere.
Former Dagenham & Redbridge defender, Anwar Uddin who made over 180 league appearances for the side between 2004 and 2010 spoke exclusively to ElWriteBack about his former side.
Dagenham & Redbridge finished fourth this season and then failed to reach the play-off final. Would you say that the side should have performed better throughout the season?
I predicted at the start of the season that the Daggers would be in with a shout of promotion and many raised their eyebrows at that. They performed well to get into the play offs and were unlucky to lose out to the eventual winners, I think they did well over the course of the season and gaining automatic promotion was almost impossible as Lincoln were on fire.
As a former player for Dagenham & Redbridge you won the Conference in 2007 and then League Two in 2010. How different are the two leagues?
The very top of the National League is similar to what you would expect in League Two on a weekly basis, the big difference is you get quality throughout 90 minutes and every week in the National League we always felt players or a team will give you a chance during a game which we would always try to capitalize on. Whereas in League Two you have to earn most of your luck.
Do you think automatic promotion is realistic for the side next season?
Automatic is extremely difficult as everything needs to go your way, I believe they are capable but for any team in that division it will be tough and involve a lot of luck. Having said that they are more likely to win it now than when we won it all those years ago so anything is possible!
John Still is in his third spell with the club as manager. Is he the right man to take the side back to League Two? 100% he did it with us which was a genuine fairy tale and most of that was down to his work not just short term but he prepared for it and planned for it and executed it tremendously.
Stilly will do something today which will have an impact in a year’s time, similar to a chess player and he knows how to get it done. I can’t speak highly enough of him and I am grateful I played under him for eight years. He can get you up and he can keep you up so he has every tool in the box so I think we are lucky to have him at the club once again.