Young Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall says he thought it was a joke when he was told he’d be facing Everton in the Emirates FA Cup.The centre back joined Dagenham and Redbridge last Thursday, two days before the League Two side’s third-round trip to Goodison Park.
And Worrall couldn’t believe what he was hearing when Dougie Freedman took him to one side.
The centre back said: “The gaffer told me I was playing on Saturday – not for Forest, for Dagenham. Then he said it’s against Everton. I thought he was joking.
“It’s one of those isn’t it? A childhood dream – to play against a Premier League team, especially on your debut.
“Everton didn’t mess about. They played a lot of top-class players. I think they had something like 76% possession, and they had so many corners. But I think that’s a decent reflection on us because we got a lot of blocks and clearances in.
“I thought I was solid enough. There wasn’t a lot I could have done with the goals and I got five or six headers in, one which I flicked away from Arouna Kone.”
Worrall played the full 90 minutes as the Daggers slipped to a 2-0 defeat, but now he and his team-mates must turn their attentions to moving away from the League Two relegation zone.
He said: “It’s nice to go to a team that really needs you to help their cause. Dagenham have only been around for 24 years and I think staying in the league would be big for the club’s future.
“I’d like to think I’ll be able to stay at Dagenham for a little while longer than the initial month. I’ve got faith in my own ability.
“We’ve got a few decent games coming up after my month has finished: Mansfield at Field Mill and Notts at Meadow Lane. If I can get my loan extended, they’re the games I’m aiming for.”
Supporters can read the full interview with Worrall in tomorrow night’s matchday programme.