September 21 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 8, 2014
Dagenham & Redbridge defender Scott Doe previews the start of the new League Two season.
Daggers were bookies favourites for the drop a year ago, but for the first time defender Scott Doe feels there is a greater expectation on the side as they prepare for their home League Two opener against Morecambe tomorrow.
Wayne Burnett’s side defied the odds last term, ending up in ninth place, and though the squad puts pressure on itself to perform, Doe feels outsiders expect a lot more from them.
“There is a bit more expectation on us,” said Doe. “It’s the first time we’ve experienced that because even the year we went up we were favourites to go down and every year it is us, Accrington and teams like that because of the budgets and the smaller club and crowds.
“We finished ninth last season and maybe there is a little bit more expectation, but I don’t think it really changes for us. We always want to do as well as we can, but I think we’ve got a good squad to do well this season and can more than compete at this level.
Despite a ninth-place finish last season, there have been a number of arrivals and departures over the summer months.
It’s certainly the most Doe can remember as he goes into his sixth season at the club, but he believes the new players have settled in nicely. “This has been one of the biggest number of changes I have seen since I have been here,” added the 25-year-old.
“It was a good finish to last season, but there’s a lot of people who have left and a lot who have come in, but that’s just how contracts work. The new lads have been good though and the team has gelled really well.
While there have been a number of new faces, the core of the side has remained the same with the likes of Doe, Brian Saah, Luke Howell and skipper Abu Ogogo all returning for another season.
And of the new additions, the experience boss Burnett has added in the likes of Jamie Cureton and Damian Batt, is a major boost.
“One thing that we have got a bit better with, and like what we used to have, is experience. We had the players like Mark Arber and Peter Gain,” said Doe.
“I think we may have lacked that bit of experience and know how to see out some games last season. That was the difference in finishing in ninth and the play-offs. Hopefully those experienced players will help us.”