The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Craig Chis­nall

CHRIS Dag­nall’s move to Ley­ton Ori­ent has brought him south for the first time – but the Liver­pudlian hit­man be­lieves his ca­reer is head­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion.

The well-trav­elled striker made a dream de­but for the League One pro­mo­tion chasers when he came off the bench at half-time to score twice in the win at Crewe.

He then helped see off for­mer club Coven­try – who had been keen to make his loan deal from Barns­ley per­ma­nent this month – 2-0 in mid­week to ce­ment the O’s place in the top two.

And de­spite bat­tling big-spend­ing Wolves and Brent­ford in the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion race, Dag­nall, who signed an 18-month deal at Bris­bane Road, is con­vinced he will soon be a Cham­pi­onship player once again.

“It’s only been a week or two but I know I’ve made the right de­ci­sion in com­ing here,” said Dag­nall, who is now play­ing for his sev­enth club.

“The loan move to Coven­try was the south com­pared to my other clubs but I was ready for a taste of Lon­don life and the gaffer (Rus­sell Slade) re­ally sold the club to me.

“I’m liv­ing in Ca­nary Wharf as all the flats by the ground were full but I’m look­ing for­ward to do­ing a bit of ex­plor­ing.

“It’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing move for me on the pitch. Things hadn’t worked out for me re­ally at Barns­ley so I was more than happy to swap a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle for a pro­mo­tion push.

“The boys here have been ab­so­lutely fly­ing and from the first train­ing ses­sion you could see how much con­fi­dence they had.


“I thought I’d have to be pa­tient to get a chance but I came on at Crewe and scored two with my left foot so happy days. I will have to keep pro­duc­ing the goods though as there’s so much qual­ity in this squad.”

And O’s fans should be grate­ful to a for­mer favourite of theirs that Dag­nall made the move to Ori­ent, with other clubs wait­ing in the wings. The 27-year-old re­vealed he sought the ad­vice of exOri­ent cap­tain and mid­fielder Stephen Daw­son, now at Barns­ley, be­fore com­mit­ting his fu­ture.

“I was re­ally, re­ally im­pressed with what Rus­sell had to say about me, the club and the fu­ture so I was all ready to sign then,” added Dag­nall, who had his most pro­lific spell at Rochdale from 2006 un­til 2010.

“And when I spoke to Stephen he couldn’t say enough good things about the club and the gaffer as well.

“He said it had been a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for him to leave the club and I wouldn’t re­gret com­ing down here to start again.

“It’s only early days but ev­ery­thing he said was spot on. There were a few other things I could have con­sid­ered but this felt right im­me­di­ately and I can’t wait to see what the next few months brings on and off the pitch.”

FIRED UP: Chris Dag­nall scores one of his two goals on his Ori­ent de­but at Crewe. Inset, for­mer O’s cap­tain Stephen Daw­son

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