Published: 06:00, 21 November 2019
Steve King told Dartford players to get real after shutting down play-off talk.
Darts have taken eight points from four league games under King, scoring twice in the last few minutes to draw with Kent rivals Maidstone on Saturday.
They’re 14th in National League South but it’s been a promising start for the new manager and one that has not only fuelled expectations on the terraces.
King said: “Two wins, two draws, eight points from 12 – I’d have taken that all day long.
“It’s difficult because one of the boys said in the dressing room, ‘gaffer, we’re six points off the play-offs with a game in hand’ and I’m like, ‘let’s just get real for one minute’.
“I know how to build a team and I know when a team is capable of going win, win, win, win.
“You need that and we’re not there, I know we’re not there.
“We are a win, lose, draw, win, win, draw, lose team, that’s where we’re at.
“Can that change as time goes on? If we get one or two more players in and the more we get into the players at training, who knows? But we are where we are.”
King’s been there, seen it and done it but is adamant he’s not playing mind games in writing off Dartford’s promotion chances.
“Everyone’s talking about it, I’m not ignorant to it, but I truly believe what I’m saying,” said King.
“It’s not me trying to play it down, I just know where my team is at the moment and that’s the truth.”
Dartford meet Maidstone for the second weekend running when they travel to the Gallagher Stadium in the FA Trophy third qualifying round this Saturday.
The Stones are unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season, while Darts are in great form on their travels.
King’s side take momentum into it after their late comeback in the league game and it’s set to be a fascinating encounter.
The tie carries prize money of £3,750, with £1,250 for the losers.
“It’s going to be another tough game on the 3G there,” said King.
“Their home form has really excelled, they’ve flipped it around.
“Before me, we weren’t the greatest at home, I think third-bottom in the league on home form but for away form we’re in the top five.
“We’ve won six straight away from home.
“We can change systems, we’ve got flexibility, so we may go there with a different system.
“We’ll have a couple of players missing but we can have a good go at it.”
If the match is drawn, the replay will be at Princes Park on Tuesday night.
More by this authorCraig Tucker