By Adam Cheshire
Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still insisted he had no complaints at the late decision to postpone his side’s National League clash with managerless FC Halifax Town at The Shay on Saturday.
Town’s home pitch has been under scrutiny after their game with Leyton Orient was called off on January 20, just four hours before kick-off. But, despite the time approaching 2pm, Still was adamant that referee Joseph Johnson made the correct decision.
The Daggers boss told The NLP: “It was the right decision, absolutely. I have no problems at all. When it comes to inspections, if the referee asks my opinion, I will give my opinion but it is ultimately his decision, even if his opinion is different to mine.
“The safety of the players is the biggest key and the ball wasn’t rolling and bouncing consistently. It was a recipe for an accident and common sense has prevailed, as disappointing as it is for us because we have now got to travel back up here on a Tuesday evening.
“When Saturday comes, everybody wants to play football, irrespective of what position you are in as you are always hopeful that it is going to be your day. We travelled up last night not knowing about the situation until we got here which makes it more disappointing.”
Both sides have suffered a poor set of results in recent weeks, with Dagenham only winning one of their previous eight league games. Added to their worries is the departure of striker Morgan Ferrier to Boreham Wood and left-back Sam Ling to Leyton Orient. Captain Scott Doe has also left.
Meanwhile, Halifax have only clinch victory once in their last nine attempts – a return which saw manager Billy Heath lose his job last week.
And Still was saddened by his fellow counterpart’s departure. He said: “It has always been a tough job but it has been made tougher for various reasons. Years ago, managers were staying jobs for two, three, four years. Now, you’re lucky to stay in it for six months sometimes.
“I didn’t particularly know Billy but when he came down to our place earlier in the season I found him to be a very nice man. I spoke to him and he is a proper football man. It is always disappointing and I hope that he gets another opportunity. He also did well at his former club North Ferriby.
“I feel quite privileged in that I have never been out of work and that I’ve been able to go from one club to another.”
It was reported last week that Still, who is into his third season of his third spell with the club, suffered some abuse after his side’s shock 3-1 defeat at home at the hands of struggling Solihull Moors, but he was quick to refute these claims, stating:
“Our supporters have always been fantastic,” he said. “And it should be like that. Having played there, not living too far away from there, getting them into the Football League, getting them into League One, selling players adding up to millions of pounds for the club – I think I have a special relationship with the fans.
“Does everyone like me? Probably not but that’s natural. It’s just that the general situation at the moment has just led to a bit of unrest and I understand that.”