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Dartford manager Steve King urges team to give him selection dilemmas

ByCameron Hogwood

Dartford boss Steve King has challenged his players to give him selection headaches as he continues to implement his style at Princes Park.

The former Welling manager, who was appointed earlier this month, has been impressed with the way his side have bought into his approach so far.

“They’ve been brilliant,” said King.

Dartford Manager Steve King. Picture: Andy Jones
Dartford Manager Steve King. Picture: Andy Jones

“I pick the team, if you’re not in the team then work you way into the team.

“There are no favourites, I know of the players but I don’t know them. I know what they’re capable of but I don’t know them personally.

“You may be out of the side but then it’s up to you to work your way into the side.

“That’s all you need to do, give food for thought to the manager.”

King does, however, accept that it will take some time for Dartford to adapt to his system and tactics.

That could include the arrival of more new faces following on from the recent signings of marauding right-back Jordan Gibbons and striker Elliott Romain.

King added: “If you do well then you stay in the team and that’s what I said to them.

“I’ve bought two players in since I’ve been here and there will be more to come. We need certain players in certain areas.”

Gibbons was a standout figure in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Chippenham, posing a constant threat with his crosses from the right-hand side.

“Jordan on the right will get better as games go and he plays more matches,” King said.

“Saturday (against Chippenham) was his third 90 minutes in two months so as he gets fitter and stronger he’ll be able to do more.

“We need to be able to do that on the left-hand side as well so we’ll get a left sider in that can do that bit.”

Elliott Romain makes his debut for Dartford against Chippenham. Picture: Phil Lee
Elliott Romain makes his debut for Dartford against Chippenham. Picture: Phil Lee

Romain’s arrival from Eastbourne Borough was announced prior to kick-off, with the forward enduring a tough afternoon against a team boasting the joint-best defensive record in the National League South.

“I think he’s capable of 20 goals in this division,” explained King.

“He’s done it at other clubs, Eastbourne, Dagenham, Maidstone, so for this level he’s a 20 goal-a-season man.

“He will get better and better in the system I play as time goes by.”

Dartford are next in action on Saturday at manager-less Eastbourne, who find themselves in the middle of a short-term cash-flow issue following the withdrawal of promised funds from an investor in the summer.

“They’ve had a good draw away at Hemel Hempstead so it’s going to be a tough game down there,” said King.

“We'll have to see where they are next week because they've got a lot going on at their club.

“They might have players coming and going, so I don't know what 11 they'll have next week.”

Read more: All the latest Kent sport news

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