Still: Southampton are the best we’ve played
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE boss John Still praised his side’s tireless effort, despite going down 3-1 at home to promotion-chasing Southampton.
Trailing 2-0 late on, it seemed as though the visitors would cruise to the three points, but substitute Josh Scott struck six minutes from time to give Daggers a lifeline and then Gavin Tomlin hit the crossbar from a long-range free-kick that bounced on the line, before being scrambled away to deny Daggers a dramatic equaliser.
A late strike from Rickie Lambert sealed the points for Southampton, but Still was satisfied his team did all they could to salvage a result and tipped Saints for promotion to the Championship.
“At 1-0 I think we’ve had a stonewall penalty, and we’ve come back and made it 2-1, then we hit the bar, we couldn’t do any more than we’d done,” he said.
“I thought it was a fantastic effort from all the players and I don’t think anyone could have asked for more.
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“They’re the best side we’ve played this year. We were under no illusions when we started the game that this was gonna be a tough one, and our intention really was to try and stay in the game in the first half.
“We know we’re fit and we know we’re strong and we know our strength and power comes out in the second half.
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“The second goal was the one probably that didn’t help us, but having said that our strength and power did come out.”
The Saints looked the more threatening of the two sides in a cagey first half and manager Still responded with the substitution of midfielder Billy Bingham for forward Tomlin in a bid to impose themselves on the game and break the deadlock.
And the Daggers boss insists his attitude of playing to win each game will never change.
“We play to win, we don’t play to draw and I would sooner get beat trying to win,” said Still.
“I thought in the second half we’d go with another forward and push the game on, which is what we did.
“We never stopped and I was really pleased with our performance. The last few performances have been top class and that’s got to continue.”