COLIN Cooper must get his players to quell the attacking threat of a player he wanted to bring to Hartlepool United.
Rhys Murphy has scored eight times for Dagenham & Redbridge since signing for the Essex club in the summer.
He’s a player well-known to Pools after the former Arsenal youth team-player scored against Neale Cooper’s side for Telstar during the 2012 pre-season tour of the Netherlands.
And Murphy was in the team again this summer though did not score as the game finished 0-0.
Cooper is a big fan not only of the 22-year-old but the Daggers side the Essex boy is knocking in the goals for, let, right and centre.
“They are a very good team, with pace and they are also solid with only one defeat in nine games or so,” said Cooper.
“ Rhys Murphy is someone we looked at in the summer. We knew him from playing Telstar in pre-season he was a goalscoring threat.
“But we never got that chance as he wanted to stay down south – they have a genuine goal threat in him and others.
“And while we have been on a good run of form, Dagenham will be felling fantastic themselves.”
Dagenham defeated the team which started the day in top spot – Rochdale, 3-1.
Goals from Medi Elito (2) and that-man Murphy at Victoria Road sent the Lancashire side home empty-handed.
It was a result which laves the Daggers eighth, just three points behind new leaders Oxford.
“They beat the league leaders last weekend,” said Cooper who has watched footage of the match.
“It was a good game, both sides looked to do some good things, Dagenham created chances and Rochdale created chances, it was only in injury time when Medi Elito scored his second goal that the game was effectively finished
“Until then, it was always on edge and could have gone either way.
“They have every right to feel good about themselves.
“Dagenham have only been beaten once on the road and we have to make sure we are bang on.”
Cooper, ever the meticulous planner, has done his homework on the east Londoners and is an admirer of their boss, Wayne Burnett.
The Daggers only stayed in the Football League by the skin of their teeth – they won just two of his 12 games after taking over from the experienced John Still.
But the new season has brought new hope and some excellent results.
“We do like to research the opposition and I’m sure Wayne Burnett is doing the same with us,” said Cooper, who is far from downcast about Pools despite the end of their winning run last at Scunthorpe.
“They have been praised for what they are doing,” the boss said of his players.
“We didn’t give a bad performance last week, just the result was a little disappointing.
“We will do our homework to counter Dagenham and put our game on the pitch to give them problems.”