December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 20, 2013
Dagenham goalkeeper Chris Lewington has hailed the impact coach Jim Stannard has made on his game.
The 50-year-old was axed as Premier League side Southampton’s goalkeeping coach when Nigel Adkins was dismissed last season and subsequently joined the Daggers in the summer, while also helping out with Conference South side Chelmsford.
For large parts of last season the Victoria Road club were without a recognised goalkeeping coach and, although former Dagger Dave Hogan stepped into the breach for a spell, Lewington is glad to have someone of Stannard’s experience to go to.
“On the whole I feel I have had a good start to the season. Having Jim Stannard as a goalkeeping coach now has brought me on to another level,” said Lewington.
“He’s had experience in the Premier League and if I keep working hard hopefully I can stay in between the sticks, but Jordan Seabright is pushing me every day and he is doing really well.
“But if I can just keep ahead of him and doing well then I’ll be all right.
“We didn’t have a goalkeeping coach, but then Dave Hogan came in who is a good friend of mine and he started doing a bit.
“He was good, but he didn’t have the experience Jim has got and that’s not any fault to Hogan, he was a good coach himself. But I think Jim is that next level.
“He has got that experience and he has played 800-odd games himself so it’s easy to talk to him about things. He understands.”
Lewington helped the Daggers to a 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers last Saturday, saving his second penalty this season with the match still in the balance at 1-0.
He admitted it was guess work to deny Matt Harrold from the spot, but was pleased it played a significant part in the victory
“It was just luck to be fair, I just guessed which way to go and luckily he went that way and I was able to make the save,” he added.
“At 1-0 if they score that it goes 1-1 and it’s a different game so it was an important save, but it’s my job – I am there to make saves.”
The victory extended Daggers’ unbeaten home record to five matches in all competitions on home turf this season, although Wayne Burnett’s side spend time on the road for three of their next four fixtures, starting with the long trip to the north west to take on Morecambe on Saturday.
And Lewington hopes the confidence they’ve gained from their solid performances at home can be continued on the road.
“If you can get solid home performances and make this place a little bit of a fortress it helps,” said the 25-year-old.
“When you can do that it does take the pressure off away, but if we can play like we have done at home with freedom hopefully that will put us in a good position to get a result on Saturday.”