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Dartford caretaker boss Tony Burman says winger Brandon Barzey’s hamstring injury typifies their National League South campaign

Caretaker Dartford manager Tony Burman admitted losing Brandon Barzey to injury last Saturday summed up their season.

The winger returned from a loan spell with Hemel Hempstead and was put straight into Burman’s starting XI but lasted just under half an hour of the 1-0 home defeat to Weymouth before coming off with a hamstring issue.

Dartford caretaker boss Tony Burman expects Brandon Barzey to be out for two-to-three weeks. Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford caretaker boss Tony Burman expects Brandon Barzey to be out for two-to-three weeks. Picture: Andy Payton

“It was a blow to us to lose Brandon but that’s par for the season at the moment, we’ve lost key players to injuries and it’s just added up all the time,” said Burman, who expects Barzey to be sidelined for two to three weeks.

“It didn’t surprise me that something happened like that but it’s disappointing and it took us off our stride.

“It’s a blow to us but we have to live with it. We’ve lived with it all season with different players. I’m not making excuses, but it’s been one of the major problems.”

Dartford had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges against Weymouth.

Burman felt the players had shown glimpses of what he wanted to see but admitted there were still lessons to learn.

“We started the game, I thought, reasonably well,” he reflected. “There was a lot of effort that went in and some of the play was what we asked them to produce in the training sessions we had.

“We looked a bit leggy in the second half and didn’t do some of the passing we wanted. Although their goal was a great strike, there were things we could have done better to prevent the shot.

“We have to learn from those mistakes and they’re the sort of things we have to believe we can cut out.

“If we can keep clean sheets then that will be a major plus. If we can add on to that with some good football and scoring goals then it adds up to a good performance.

“When I look at some of the stats, we only had a couple of corners and that can’t be right. I don’t think we had enough shots on target and that can’t be right when we’re at home.

“It’s about belief and a little bit about confidence so if we can get that first win or clean sheet then it will build. I know there’s not loads of time but we have to believe we can get that right.

“As I said before, I’ve got no magic wand but I do realise how difficult the task is going to be. We’ve got to try and get things right sooner rather than later.”

Dartford sold striker Lewis Manor to Isthmian Premier Hornchurch at the end of last week.

The forward struggled for regular gametime at Princes Park so the deal made sense for all concerned.

“I’ve had chats with the players and we’ve had a couple of phone calls from clubs about Lewis Manor,” said Burman.

“He’s a really good lad but he said to me that he hadn’t started a game since mid-November. I didn’t really want him to go but when we got to Thursday, Hornchurch made a further approach and an offer.

“I could have refused it but at the same time you have to think what might be best for the player. As much as he wanted to be here, he felt it was right for him to leave as well so that’s why the deal went through.”

It’s the second striker exit since Burman took caretaker charge but Charlie Sheringham returned in Tuesday’s Kent Senior Cup Quarter-Final win over Sevenoaks.

“We were probably a bit top-heavy with strikers,” said Burman, speaking before he then lost George Alexander on Thursday night after he was recalled from his loan spell by Bromley.

“Charlie is still with us, there’s been a situation with him but he got some minutes on Tuesday and while he’s been out for a long time, he keeps himself fit and we’ll see how that goes.

“But if someone comes along then I will make that decision and get someone else if need be.”

Dartford could come up against former striker Harvey Bradbury this Saturday as Burman takes his team to Farnborough in National League South.

New Darts midfielder Taylor Maloney could also feature against his old side, with the Darts boss confirming no agreement was put in place to prevent either player featuring.

With managerial departures at both Welling and Ebbsfleet in the past week, Burman confirmed the Darts are working their way towards a new manager but wouldn’t be drawn on a timescale.

He added: “We had a meeting last week and there’s people on a wanted list as such. Things will move forward as and when we’re ready so as far as I’m concerned I’ll just carry on with what I have to do.”

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