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Dartford striker Jack Barham on playing for Steve King, scoring 20 goals and challenging for the title

Striker Jack Barham believes working under manager Steve King will bring the best out of him at Dartford .

The duo worked together at Welling when Barham linked up with King on loan from Barnet.

Jack Barham in full flow for Dartford. Picture: Andy Jones (42745544)
Jack Barham in full flow for Dartford. Picture: Andy Jones (42745544)

Barham was King’s main summer target and the 24-year-old striker is happy to be playing under a manager who backs him to deliver in front of goal.

“It’s one of the biggest things in football,” said Barham.

“When you’re playing under a manager that loves you and knows you’ll score goals week in, week out for the club and backs you down to the ground, that’s what every footballer wants.

“You know the manager is behind you, even if you miss a chance they still back you. He is a brilliant manager for me personally to work under.

“It was a no-brainer for me to come here. I did well when I went to Welling on loan and played under Kingy so I know the way he plays.

“It suits me down to the ground so it’s a perfect club for me and I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

It’s the backing from his manager – King has already stated that Barham will deliver 20 goals this season – that means the striker can play without fear.

“Sometimes as a player if you have a bad performance and think the manager is going to drop me or not have faith in me anymore it can affect you,” said Barham.

“But to know he backs me – and I’m not saying I’m going to play week in, week out, because if I’m having a bad couple of games then there is always somewhere here to take my place.

“I’ve got to be on my game all the time. To know the manager backs you and believes in you, takes the weight off your shoulders and you know you can go out there and enjoy your football.

“It shows on the pitch, there’s no worry and that’s a big factor in football.”

Barham scored his first Dartford goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win over much-fancied Havant at Princes Park.

It keeps the Darts top of the table in National League South and Barham believes a successful team can help him realise his ambitions to play in the Football League.

“I’m 24 now and I still want to kick on and get into the Football League,” he stated.

“If I can help Dartford get promoted and try and get top scorer in the league as well then that’s important for me.

“I’m delighted to get off the mark and now I can focus on kicking on with my season and picking up results as well as that’s the main thing. I want to be in a team that is up the top challenging for the title and I’m scoring goals as well.

“I’m really enjoying it. I’m getting loads of chances, the set-up is fantastic and perfect for me I really want to kick on this season and show people what I’m all about, but not only that, I’ve got a great team behind me as well.

“I know we’re going to be up there challenging for the title, and the better team I am in then the more goals I am going to get. The aim is to get promotion again.”

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