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Dartford joint-manager Adam Flanagan says side's creative players quickly need to find their form

By Matthew Panting

Joint-boss Adam Flanagan has urged Dartford’s creative players to showcase their talents.

Darts have scored just three times in their first four league games – with all three goals coming from set-pieces.

They are struggling to create clear-cut chances in open play, but Flanagan has backed his inventive players to come good – before he has to make changes.

Adam Flanagan, left, alongside fellow joint-boss Jamie Coyle, is concerned about Dartford's lack of creativity Picture: Andy Payton
Adam Flanagan, left, alongside fellow joint-boss Jamie Coyle, is concerned about Dartford's lack of creativity Picture: Andy Payton

“We’ll give the current squad the opportunity to showcase what they’ve got and if it can’t come from the current crop then we have to make changes – it’s as brutal as that,” said Flanagan.

“We think we’ve got creative players in the team but it’s not happening at the moment.

“We’ll give them more opportunities and work hard in training and we’ll see if it reflects in our play against a tough Wealdstone team (on Saturday).

“Set-pieces are a bonus and if you can be strong from those and score, then great.

“But within your overall play you need to have more than that about yourself. It is a concern and it’s something that we need to look at in the next few games.

“If the same pattern is there then we’ll have to address it.”

After suffering their first defeat in National League South at Concord on Tuesday, Flanagan expects an immediate response.

Darts host Wealdstone at Princes Park this Saturday, a game that should tell the manager plenty about his squad’s character.

He said: “It becomes important now. I know we’re only a few games into the season but it’s important that we show our character.

“Wealdstone are going to be good, we had them watched last week.

“Jamie Coyle (joint-boss) and I have got big expectations this year and if we want to be where we want to be, then we’ve got to be beating teams.

“It’s a game we need to bounce back off a loss with a win.”

Flanagan also revealed he wanted to let striker Alex Wall go out on loan instead of releasing him before the start of the season.

Wall scored a stunning opener for Concord on Tuesday.

“At the time when we spoke to Alex we wanted to get him out for a month to get him games,” said Flanagan.

“We didn’t want him to go straight away, we felt that during pre-season that he looked like he still needed some match minutes.

“That’s what we wanted to do but he wasn’t prepared to do that so it came to a head and we had to make a decision.

“At the time, if we’re being truthful, I wasn’t sure we’d see the goals return from Alex because for us with what we’d seen in pre-season he probably would have featured coming off the bench.

“He’s benefited from being at Concord where he’s the main man and is playing every week. If he gets opportunities he will score.”

Lee Noble could return from a knee injury against Wealdstone.

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