DAGNALL: I WANT TO GO BACK UP WITH THE O’S
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