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Dartford manager Tony Burman on being top of the league

By Matthew Panting

Dartford boss Tony Burman has warned his table-toppers not to let their standards slip.

The Darts went top of National League South on Tuesday night but conceded two late goals in a 4-2 win over Eastbourne which left the manager with mixed emotions.

“Overall I’m pleased with the performance but disappointed with conceding two goals,” said Burman.

Dartford manager Tony Burman will not accept a drop in standards. Picture John Westhrop

Dartford manager Tony Burman will not accept a drop in standards. Picture: John Westhrop

“The main thing was that we got three points and we did that. The last 10 minutes I’m disappointed with and I don’t want them to fall below the standards that I’m looking to have at this club.”

With a quarter of the season gone, however, Dartford have shown they are more than capable of challenging for the title.

“The players have shown what they can do,” added Burman.

“Under the circumstance of having so many players injured, I’m delighted for them but I’m not going to let their standards drop.

“I’m not going to let that happen and they will be told, it’s as simple as that.

“They’ve got to be reminded that we could have been 1-0 or 2-0 but because it was 3-0 doesn’t mean you can get a bit sloppy.”

However, the two goals Dartford conceded mean Burman’s team no longer have the best defensive record in the division – a statistic the manager did not want to hear after the final whistle.

“That hurts me,” said Burman. “What you’ve just said hurts and I hope it hurts a couple of guys in the dressing room.

“We have been sound (defensively) and we shouldn’t have conceded. I don’t think they had a shot other than the first goal. The two goals we’ve conceded have lost us the best defensive record in the league and we want to try and get that back now.”

Dartford’s immediate focus now is the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, when they host Bostik North Barking at Princes Park on Saturday.

It is a game that the Darts should win comfortably – although it is only two years ago that they suffered a shock home defeat to Uxbridge at the same stage of the competition.

“I don’t think about it but it’s there in the back of my mind,” said Burman, when asked about the Uxbridge game.

“That day we had 25 corners but it’s cup football. Nothing’s a gimme. Sometimes the FA Cup can get in the way but we all know what we want to be in it for.

“It’s the best competition in the world and we’ll be taking our opponents seriously as we want to be in the next round.”

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