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Club News

Warm-up Dagenham

22 March 2013

After three successive away trips, Fleetwood Town return to Highbury on Saturday to face mid-table Dagenham and Redbridge.

By David Mitchell

After three successive away trips, Fleetwood Town return to Highbury on Saturday to face mid-table Dagenham and Redbridge.

Wins are now paramount to keep alive Town's dwindling hopes of an npower League 2 play-off place. One win in eight and two disappointing performances in the last week has given manager Graham Atkinson much to ponder over as his side lie six points adrift: 'The ability of my players is not in question,' said Alexander,'but there are so many other facets to take into account before we can consider ourselves to have got the full package.  There are many players across this division who have played at the top level and we have met the likes of James Beattie, Franny Jeffers and John Oster in the last week.  There is also a level of competitiveness that we have to match week in, week out.  We have seven games to show what we are about as a group of professionals.' 'I've been looking carefully in training to see who is ready to play a game of football on Saturday and we will select a side that we think can show the degree of competitiveness and professional pride that we expect.  There could well be changes from Barnet but I wouldn't expect wholesale changes.' 'Dagenham and Redbridge seem to up their game against top half teams but our priority is to concentrate on our own preparation and performance and make sure we get it right.' Town will be looking to avenge one of the more frustrating results of the season, a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a Sam Williams penalty in added time on a wet and murky November afternoon in east London.  Their record against teams currently in the lower half of the league shows just 8 wins from 21 matches. The Daggers lie 16th, six point ahead of the drop zone and still needing points to assure safety.  A 2-1 victory at Rotherham on their last away trip underlines the threat that Town face and Dagenham come into the game following a home draw with fancied Burton Albion.  The club is under new management following John Still's departure to Luton Town a month ago.  Coach Wayne Burnett has taken charge until the end of the season and described his priorities in an interview with Sky Sports: 'To get as many points as possible on the board and to get players playing.' Speaking separately to 'Vital Football', Burnett added: 'We know what sort of team Fleetwood are, we've analysed their performances. It's tough but we go into Saturday full of confidence.' Dagenham have not had a clean sheet for seven games but have scored at least once in 84% of their away games. There have been seven wins and four draws against top half teams. Alexander knows that victory is vital for morale and momentum with tough games to come over the Easter weekend against league-leaders Gillingham and play-off hopefuls Southend. Paul McKenna sits out the final game of his suspension for his second red card of the season after rceiving two cautions at Plymouth. The midfielder was also dismissed playing for parent club Hull City earlier in the season.

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