the daggers voice
Wayne Burnett must be wondering where it all went wrong for him. Just a year after masterminding another fantastic mid-table finish, following the previous campaign's ninth placed one, he is the latest manager to fall foul of modern day football.
Just three days earlier we saw another dismissal; Jose Mourinho scandalously axed from Chelsea despite winning the title the year before. The very same day John Still - the ex-Daggers manager who led Luton to the Conference title and to the football league - was also ousted for not living up to expectations, although Luton narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season. Both instances highlight the problems that plague football managers - controlled by the demanding, ruthless owners.
However, Burnett's sacking seemed particularly harsh. For three years he had to contend with limited resources amongst other problems, yet managed to record two brilliant finishes in the league. For a club of our stature, to finish ninth and fourteenth - above teams three times our size - is quite astonishing.
This campaign the issues did not relent, with the Daggers losing four players integral to the club, none of which were definitively Wayne's fault. That meant we had a treacherous task awaiting us, with yet again the main ambition being to retain our league status for another season. Immediately it was apparent we were in for a relegation battle after losing our three games.
It is also worth mentioning that last season we were in exactly the same predicament. We were bottom of the table after a boxing day defeat to Stevenage, yet we still mustered enough courage to steer us well clear of relegation and safely into mid-table. Therefore I was confident Wayne Burnett would replicate this and lead us to another respectable finish, with the necessary ammunition.
This season felt different though, with many players looking disinterested when on the pitch and seemingly not aware of the honour it is to pull on the red and blue shirt. This led to almost a disconnect between fans and the club, culminating in much unrest and even a protest, something you do not associate with our usually-tolerant fanbase.
Eventually the matchday experience became more volatile and it became obvious the disarray would not subside. Burnett was sacked on Monday 21st December, with the 0-3 reverse to Bristol Rovers two days earlier sealing his fate.
Wayne Burnett was always so kind to me personally and even invited me in the changing rooms twice and onto the pitch at away games (which is a memory I will always cherish) so I am extremely saddened by his departure. I'd like to thank him for all he has done for the club and wish him all the best for the future. His predecessor John Still is odds-on favourite to rejoin for a third stint at his boyhood club, though other names have been circulated. Meanwhile Darren Currie & Warren Hackett will seize interim charge of the club.
Burnett in what was his last ever game as Dagenham boss, a 3-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers
Conveying instructions to his players
Burnett shows his approval
Wayne Burnett signed a new two-year contract in April yet his tenure has been brought to an abrupt halt eight months in. An official club statement read, ''Both Wayne and the Board of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club felt a change in manager was necessary in order to turn around the team's fortunes. Whilst the search is now underway for Wayne's replacement, Warren Hackett and Darren Currie will take care of first-team affairs until a replacement is named''
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.