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Wayne Burnett in Dagenham hot-seat at Bradford City after John Still exit
Dagenham without John Still in the dugout at Valley Parade tonight will be like Manchester United minus Sir Alex Ferguson.
Still, of course, could have been in charge of the home side, having been short-listed for the City helm before Peter Jackson got the nod on a permanent basis.
But the 62-year-old has been synonymous with Dagenham’s improbable rise from non-league, establishing them in the fourth tier – and even the third for a season – on attendances averaging below 2,000.
Still was the fourth longest-serving manager after Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes – and his nine-year tenure was his second spell with the club.
That finally came to an end after ambitious Luton came calling on Saturday night and he agreed to succeed Paul Buckle on a lucrative contract thought to be worth £200,000 a year.
So first-team coach Wayne Burnett will be given the job of preserving Dagenham’s unbeaten record at Valley Parade – two wins and two draws – this evening.
Burnett has been handed the interim role until the end of the season and his first task will be arresting a worrying slide down the table.
The 16th-placed Daggers are eight points off the drop zone but, like City, their recent league form has been indifferent.
They have won only once in six games and lost 1-0 at home to Wimbledon at the weekend in what turned out to be Still’s farewell.
City were beaten 4-3 in a thriller at Victoria Road in October and were unable to handle lively striker Dwight Gayle.
But he jumped to the Championship a month later and joined Peterborough and the Daggers goals have dried up.
They have scored at less than a goal a game since Gayle’s departure and have managed only three in the last six outings.
Dagenham mustered only one decent effort on target against the Dons – and that was a header from goalkeeper Chris Lewington after he came forward for a last-minute corner.