Published: 00:00, 25 January 2018
Tony Burman knows everyone is going to raise their game against Dartford between now and the end of the season.
Darts, three points clear at the top of National League South, could only draw 2-2 at Chippenham on Saturday and this weekend host resurgent Whitehawk at Princes Park.
Steve King’s side have looked odds-on to be relegated all season but have won three of their last four games to give themselves a chance or survival.
Bottom of the table, Hawks are still 12 points from safety but they’re bound to come and have a go against the leaders.
Burman said: “They’ve had some good results in recent weeks, their first wins of the season and that always helps. They’ve got some good players in the side Steve’s put together and all the games are difficult now.
“We’ve got to accept that all teams, from now until the end of the season, will raise their game against us. It’s something we’re used to but we mustn’t be punished.
“We’ve got to believe in ourselves and do the right things.
“Hopefully, Chippenham goes behind us and we can concentrate on Whitehawk.
“They’re playing with no fear. People will expect, because of our league position, that it’s just going to happen but it doesn’t.
“Football is not like that and I’m sure the players will concentrate solely on getting three points and showing the utmost respect for Whitehawk. If we don’t, you never know what might happen.”
Dartford are unbeaten in their last nine league games at Princes Park and attendances have started to reflect their home form.
The derby win over Welling on Boxing Day was watched by 1,640 while the majority of 1,276 were cheering Darts to victory over title rivals Havant two weeks ago.
Burman said: “We’ve played well at home and there have been some good games.
“The crowds are starting to creep up, which is fantastic and hopefully they’re thinking something might happen this year.
“We know what our goals are and hopefully we can achieve them but it’s still a difficult couple of months to get through.
“We’ve got to come out the other side, the start to middle of March and if we’re in the same position as we are now, it’s game on.”
Danny Mills faces his former club on Saturday in what could be his final game on loan from Ebbsfleet although Burman hopes to keep the striker for longer.
He said: “We’re talking to Ebbsfleet. We’ll have to wait and see what they want to happen.
“The goals haven’t gone in for him but it’s just a matter of time.
“There’s possibly a bit of pressure because of where he’s come from but he’s worked hard and done well for us.”
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