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Dartford FC boss Tony Burman on the National League South title race

By Steve Tervet

Tony Burman has urged his Dartford players to be brave as the National League South title race enters its final 10 games.

Darts are two points clear at the top but Havant & Waterlooville are breathing down their necks with two games in hand.

That makes Hawks slight favourites with the bookies and Burman admits his side have left the door ajar.

Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Terry Jones
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Terry Jones

But the top sides still have to play each other before Easter so the picture is bound to change.

Burman said: “On paper, we’ve got to say the ball’s in Havant’s court. They’ve got the games in hand and they’re in that position because we haven’t taken advantage of some situations.

“We have to realise Havant can catch us with the points they are behind. It’s for them to get on with but that’s on paper and strange things do happen in football.

“We’ve had opportunities to increase our lead at the top and we’ve not taken them, although when we’ve had a downturn the players’ recovery has been excellent.

“It’s disappointing, if you look over the season, some of the games when we’ve been in the lead and either drawn or lost those games.

“That’s been frustrating but we’re still in a decent position. The aim is to win the league and that’s what we’ll continue to believe we can do.

“The players have got to be consistent over the 10 games and regardless of what the performances are as a team, we’ve got to get three points.

“They’ve got to be brave and above all, enjoy being in a race for the title. We’ve got to be nice and positive and believe we can do it.”

Dartford, Havant and Hampton have a slight advantage over the rest although Burman isn’t convinced it’s just a three-horse race.

“I think there’s more people in it,” he said. “There’s always a team that will go on a run – not just the teams in the top three, but a team who creep into it.

“It is close and it’s going to be very interesting.

“We’ve had to deal with the pressure of being at the top since November and we’ve done reasonably well.

“The ball’s in Havant’s court so let them have a little bit of the pressure.

“I enjoy being where we are. It’s what the season’s about. Our target was to be challenging for the the title and we’re doing that.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in my squad. I know we’ve had some up and down results but they’ll learn from their experiences and be better players and better people for it.

“I know that, deep down, they all want to win this league and I’ll give them 100% backing.”

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