Burman: The buck stops with me
Since beating Barton Rovers at the end of January, Dartford have suffered defeat in five of their last six games, which has seen the club drop out of the Southern League Division One East play-offs, but boss Tony Burman insists “the buck stops with me,” writes Stephen McCartney.
”When I decided to take on this job in the summer the nucleus of the squad would be young and inexperienced players, which I felt I could keep together for at least a couple of years to try and improve them as players and as a team and to get us with some sort of solid foundation for the future,” he told www.dartfordfootballclub.co.uk
He added: “I had to accept that there would be many ups and downs and lots of frustrating times along the way but I felt this was the way to go and still do.
”Just as long as the players who survive the trip learn from their mistakes and become young but experienced players.”
Dartford’s poor run has seen them drop to eighth in the league table – just two points from Waltham Forest, who occupy the final play-off spot.
With Boreham Wood (73 points) and Enfield Town (68) in the top two promotion spots, Stamford (64) and Corby Town (62) should claim their places in the end of season lottery.
Barking & East Ham United (51) and Waltham Forest (50) can join them but Wivenhoe Town (50), Dartford (48), Rothwell Town (46) and Chatham Town (45) are hot on their tails and wouldn’t it be great if two of our three Kent sides in this league can make it to.
But with their move to Princes Park on the horizon, Burman admits his players are not coping with the increased levels of expectancy.
He said: ”At the moment because of their so-called success this season they have put us into a play-off position in the league, which rightly so, has caused expectation levels to rise after being in the doldrums for so long.
”The minute you think you have arrived, football kicks you up the back side and knocks you down again.
”The players are going through the worst experience at the moment. The harder they try the worse it gets and the confidence becomes very low, the results very poor and they find that they have dropped out of a play off position.”
Reflecting on their defeat at the hands of a side that are two points from safety at the foot of the table, Burman added: “The second half performance probably hurt me the most since I have been back in charge.
”I ask the players in every game regardless of the result to come off the pitch and say I have done my best, well too many of them in the second half Saturday did not,” he raged.
But he asked the club’s loyal band of followers to keep supporting the players and assist them to get them through this bad run.
”I do not think at this or at any time players or anybody should start receiving vocal or written abuse as it is very easy to jump on the band wagon and knock people further down than they already are," Burman said.
”I realise the buck stops with me and I will do my best to lift the players and the fans to try and get things back on track to finish the season on a high.”
Dartford's remaining eight league games are against:
March: 18 (a) Wingate & Finchley, 25 (H) Corby Town.
April: 1 (a) Ilford, 8 (H) Boreham Wood, 15 (H) Chatham Town, 17 (a) Enfield, 22 (H) Harlow Town, 29 (a) Barton Rovers.