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Dartford manager Steve King wants to add more firepower for National League South promotion push


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Steve King believes another forward option will give Dartford’s promotion push extra impetus.

The Darts boss wants to bring in more firepower to assist his squad ahead of a busy run of matches which sees them play six National League South games in 19 days.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Barry Goodwin (54285276)
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Barry Goodwin (54285276)

But King admitted any potential signing could mean a departure from his squad in order to balance the books.

“I’d like a forward, I’ve wanted one for a while,” said King, who could move into the loan market. “I like the squad that we’ve got but I don’t think we’ve got enough.

“I need a forward, I know that I need one. How we get that forward is I’ve got a few irons I know I can get but we need to balance (the books) as well.

“That’s how it works so maybe one or two need to go out on loan to balance that up - or (the board) might want to be really generous and give me an extra player! I know how it works but I do think we need another forward.”

King moved quickly last week to bring in QPR full-back Kai Innocent on loan after Jernade Meade was ruled out through injury for at least two months.

Innocent has moved to Princes Park on loan until the end of February initially and made his debut in the FA Trophy win over Weymouth last Saturday.

“Jernade’s got a hairline fracture of the pelvis that he’s been playing with but never knew,” revealed King.

“He had a scan and that’s picked it up, it’s two to three months.

“He’s been outstanding. If we stopped now to pick player-of-the-season he’s one of two who it could be for me.

“I know what quality Jernade possesses, it’s a shame that he’s got an injury like that because he’s been outstanding both going forward and defensively.

“I watched Kai last year, I’ve seen him at QPR under-23s and he went on loan at Eastbourne where he did ever so well.

“When we found out Jernade was going to be out for two or three months, we had to move quickly so we beat off a few teams to get him. He came in and was steady against Weymouth.”

Four of the next five games are at home, where Darts remain unbeaten this season. They face Hampton this Saturday and Concord on Tuesday night, knowing maximum points will ensure they keep pace with teams at the top of the table.

“We’re proud of the fact that we’re in January and have still not been beaten at home,” noted King. “We’ll take each game as it comes but we’ve got a run of home games that we need to do well in. That starts this week with Hampton at home. We need to try and keep our run going here.

“We can only win when we get the opportunities. I’m reasonably happy with where we are but we need to try and kick on if we can.

“Hampton have got good players, a good manager and they only lost 2-1 to Dorking. If we’re not on it against Hampton then they’ll turn us over. They’re going through a bit of a bad spell at the moment, they’ve lost six out of seven and let some players go so they’re revamping the squad now.”

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