Wayne Burnett: Dagenham & Redbridge must be realistic

Wayne Burnett
Burnett was appointed Dagenham manager in May last year after a spell as interim boss

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett has admitted the club would do well to repeat the ninth-placed finish they achieved last season.

The Daggers begin the new campaign at home to Morecambe on Saturday.

"We achieved a fantastic position last year. No-one ever thought we could finish ninth," he told BBC London 94.9.

"You'd like to build on that but you have to be realistic. We initially have to secure our League status and beyond that anything is a bonus."

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"Hopefully we can surprise a few people like we did last year. I don't like to set targets as it is unfair on players, fans and the club. We will certainly be having a go."

Burnett has brought in 11 new players so far this summer, including veteran striker Jamie Cureton, but says the east London side cannot compete with the budgets available to other clubs in the division.

"It will be another tough season as there are some very good teams that have come down, some good teams that have come up and teams that have strengthened," he said.

"You have the likes of Luton, Oxford, Portsmouth, Bury, Northampton and Shrewsbury. They are spending vast sums of money and we can't compete.

"Hopefully we can surprise a few people like we did last year. If we can get some consistency and keep our main group fit, which is key, then we could have a decent season.

"I don't like to set targets as it is unfair on players, fans and the club. We will certainly be having a go."

Dagenham's summer signings so far
Goalkeepers: Mark Cousins and Liam O'Brien
Defenders: Damian Batt, Nathan Green and Matt Partridge
Midfielders: Ashley Hemmings, Joss Labadie, George Porter and Frankie Raymond
Forwards: Ashley Chambers and Jamie Cureton

Burnett is still keen to add to his attacking options before the transfer window closes.

"We've kept the nucleus of our squad and I think we have brought in some good footballers," Burnett said.

"We have probably lost one or two strikers - the likes of Luke Norris and Ade Azeez.

"From an attacking point of view we still need to strengthen. Defensively we are okay and in central midfield we are okay.

"I think we are stronger in terms of having better footballers in the group. Hopefully that will show."

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