Dartford manager Tony Burman believes his side have come on leaps and bounds from last season.
Now the Princes Park manager wants his players to be rewarded for their improvement with promotion.
He says his group are more focused this time, and thinks they can make it back into the top flight of Non-League football.
“Last year we were there or thereabouts,” said Burman, one of the longest serving managers in the game.
“But every time we got in the top five we’d lose the next game. It wasn’t just losing that one, we’d lose the next one as well. So we’d drop out of the top five. There was no consistency in the team or results.
“I know we could have got into the playoffs on the last day by relying on other results, but really it didn’t deserve to happen because we weren’t good enough.
“But this year people know we’re a decent side, with a good blend of young and old. Every time we’ve gone on a run we’ve had a majority of wins and that’s kept us up in the top part since January.”
Dartford drew 1-1 with Concord on Saturday and it seems now that if they club are to win promotion, then it will have to be via the dreaded playoffs.
“If that’s what it needs to be then do be it,” Burman said. “We came into the season with our eyes wide open.
“We certainly think we have improved so we’ll see where the next few months takes us.”