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Daggers boss Burnett - A tough month starts with Oxford United

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Friday, December 13, 2013
1:00 PM

Dagenham & Redbridge will only be halfway through the season come the end of December, but manager Wayne Burnett believes this month’s results will be instrumental in how they will fare.

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They return to action following a fortnight break from league action with a visit to league leaders Oxford United on Saturday, though Daggers, in ninth, only trail the U’s by four points.

As well as a trip to the Kassam Stadium, Burnett’s side are also on the road at Portsmouth and fellow high-fliers Chesterfield before 2013 comes to an end.

And while performances on the road have been good, the points haven’t often made the journey back with the Daggers and Burnett will be hoping to put that right this month.

“We have played some good stuff away from home and not got the rewards in recent times,” said Burnett.

“At Plymouth and at Hartlepool I feel we were worthy of a point based on the performances, but you don’t always get what you deserve in football.

“If you look at the fixtures this month they are extremely tough though. Oxford and Chesterfield are right up there and the one fixture at home to Torquay isn’t going to be easy either, because they are fighting for their lives at the other end of the table.

He added: “We have only won two on the road though, and despite drawing four, we need to start picking up wins away from home if we want to be successful this season.

“You have got to go to these places and pick up the points. There will still be 23 games left at the end of this month and that’s a lot of games, but you can put yourselves in a good position come the end of it.

“It’s a crucial period for everybody in the league and if you are there or thereabouts come the end of it then you give yourself a good opportunity of building on it.”

Defender Scott Doe serves a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season last time out against Wycombe Wanderers, and last season’s player of the year Luke Wilkinson is likely to fill the void.

Midfielder Billy Bingham (knee) will miss at least a month although results of his MRI scan revealed no surgery was required, but boss Burnett is likely to stick with the midfield three of Abu Ogogo, Luke Howell and Medy Elito.

Oxford United will welcome back defender and skipper Jake Wright, while midfielder Sean Rigg and Mark Raynes are likely to be available for Chris Wilder’s table toppers,

The U’s long-term absentees include Alfie Potter, Andy Whing and Jonathan Meades.

Probable Oxford team: (4-4-2) Clarke; Hunt, Wright, Mullins, Newey; Williams, Hall, Rose, Ruffles; Kitson, Constable.

Probable Daggers team: (4-3-3) Lewington; Hoyte, Wilkinson, Saah, Ilesanmi; Ogogo, Howell, Elito; Murphy, Hines, Obafemi.

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