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Joint-boss Adam Flanagan says Dartford FC lack desire and character

By Matthew Panting

Joint-manager Adam Flanagan has vowed to restore the “heartbeat” of his new-look Dartford side.

By their own admission, Dartford were dismal in losing 3-0 at home to Wealdstone in National League South.

Flanagan, who played 135 times for the Darts between 2007 and 2010, will not tolerate that kind of performance again.

Dartford joint-manager Adam Flanagan Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford joint-manager Adam Flanagan Picture: Andy Payton

“I was disappointed because the heartbeat of every Dartford side over the years (was missing),” said Flanagan. “Yes, you could question the playing style could have been more flowing, but you could never question the heart and the fight - and that will to win from the players.

“You saw it in the characters out on the pitch, and that’s the biggest thing that’s missing at the moment.

“You look at the players that we’ve got and what they’ve done at other clubs, they’re good players with good experience. But what we’re not seeing is that uncontrollable desire to want to win football matches.

“That’s missing. I think you can be a lesser player and have that in abundance, and that will go a long way when you’re at Dartford. We’ve got good players at the moment and they’re not showing any signs of that at all - and I won’t allow that.

“A lot of players and Tony Burman have put a lot of effort to put the club where it is and this is a good club to be at. All of us need to get things improved quickly.”

Flanagan and joint-boss Jamie Coyle now face the difficult decision of how long they leave it before making changes to their new-look squad.

Six summer signings featured against Wealdstone last weekend but none emerged with any credit.

“If you look at the signings we made, they’re lads who should be more than capable at this level,” said Flanagan.

“When we made the signings there was good positivity around them and belief that they would add to what the club already had. But that hasn’t happened at the moment and the balance is how long do you leave it?

“There’s expectations by everyone here, the fans, the players and even ourselves, and we can’t afford to let things go the way they are for too much longer.

“We were hoping that the players would turn that around. We won’t make drastic changes but there’s a few players that have probably had opportunities to showcase what they can do and they’ve not taken them.

“I think Dartford’s a big club and players will want to come to this club. The phone rings most weeks with players and agents offering players. Jamie and I have been quite defensive of the group that we’ve had and we’ve not looked to bring those players in.

“It’s brutal but we’re not prepared to have a stagnated season.

“We get lots of approaches during the week, we had two players coming in on Monday to train and have a look at those.

“Players that are here need to get their finger out and when there are opportunities, take them, because there’s other hungrier players that want to come to the club. It’s as simple as that.”

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