Hartlepool United hero Ryan Bird chasing Dagenham repeat

HERO: Ryan Bird celebrates his winner against Wimbledon.  Picture by FRANK REID

HERO: Ryan Bird celebrates his winner against Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

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RYAN Bird has already scored the winner away at Dagenham & Redbridge this season – and he is looking to repeat the feat with Hartlepool United tonight.

The on-loan Cambridge United striker got off the mark for his new club in the 1-0 win over Wimbledon ahead of the visit to the Daggers.

I have seen Dagenham play a few times and sometimes they can be amazing

RYAN BIRD

He has fond memories of playing at The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium, having scored when his parent club won there earlier in the season.

Bird has signed a month-long loan deal and is looking to bag another for Ronnie Moore’s side tonight.

“I would love to score again – I scored there for Cambridge earlier in the season when we beat them 3-2,” said Bird.

“Hopefully I can keep that run of scoring at Dagenham going tonight.

“Wimbledon were a big side and Adebayo Akinfenwa is a big unit up front. I have seen him play a few times and he is always a handful up top.

“But Dagenham will be a different challenge.

“They like to get the ball on the floor and play a lot of football.

“I have seen them play a few times and sometimes they can be amazing.

“Other times it hasn’t really gone for them.

“We just have to focus on us and get another three points.”

Bird’s record suggests he will score goals if he is given run in the side.

He added: “As a striker you always need a run of games and if you have a few chances then you should always back yourself to do that every week.

“It was pretty much one chance, one goal against Wimbledon.”

His 73rd-minute strike from close range was enough to seal all three points and set Pools up for the trip to Daggers.

The importance of this week is not lost on the playing squad, with the chance to put a significant dent in the six-point gap to safety.

“This is a massive week and the gap is now only six points,” added Bird.

“We have 13 games left and that is easily done, everyone beats everyone in this league.

“If we win tonight and win Saturday then we’ll be right in the mix.

“Six more points from Dagenham and Burton on Saturday would be a massive help for us.”

Pools will be without Michael Woods tonight, the midfielder ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula in the Dons victory.

Nicky Featherstone is set to take his place, while Moore is also expected to be able to name David Mirfin in the starting line-up.

Moore is hoping to extend the loan deal of defender Mirfin from Scunthorpe United.