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Dartford FC boss Tony Burman on the clash with title rivals Braintree Town

By Matthew Panting

Dartford boss Tony Burman wants a tough run of fixtures to bring the best out of his players.

With only two wins from their last five National League South games, leaders Darts host second-placed Braintree on Saturday.

They follow that up with the traditional festive double-header against Welling, visiting Park View Road on Boxing Day (1pm).

Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Tony Jones
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Tony Jones

“Hopefully, it will bring the best out of the players,” said Burman.

“The crowd will get behind us as well, which I’m sure they will. It’s a tough period but it’s what you want to be involved with.

“We’ve not played as well as we want but we’re still in a decent position.

“The goals are still there, you concern yourself when you’re not creating anything. I don’t care what anybody says, we do create chances.

“We created at Poole, where we only scored one and at Hungerford, where it just didn’t happen.

“I’d like to get back to a good spell and still keep us in the challenge for the league.”

Dartford and Braintree are the two leading scorers in the league and the Essex outfit arrive behind Darts only on goal difference.

“It will be a big game because we’re top and they’re second,” added Burman. “We know we’ve not been in the top form lately and we can do better.

“What’s a nice feeling is that the players know they can do better.

“The Braintree game is a good one to have. They are a good side, they’ve got plenty of pace in the side that we’ve got to sort out.

“Welling are going through a transitional period but with all due respect to them, it’s a period at the right end of the table.

“They’ve got players who we know and vice-versa, it will about what happens on the day.

“The bragging rights are there, it’s not the be all and end all but it’s nice to pick up the points over the Christmas period.”

While Darts could strengthen their hand going into the new year, Burman knows nothing is determined at this stage.

He added: “Nothing has changed over the years. Christmas is always a big period but if you lose your games, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost everything.

“If you win your games it doesn’t mean that you’ve won everything.

“It’s a tough period but the next two months are tough. Just because we lost last week (at Hungerford) people say that’s the end of it and we haven’t got a clue what we’re doing.

“As managers and coaching staff, we have to put up with those things. The facts are we are where we are for a reason.

“Yes, we haven’t kicked on but it doesn’t mean anything is completely wrong. Let’s try and make it better and improve.”

Alex Brown is banned for the Braintree game.

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