Defiant AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has hit back at criticism, insisting: “We have over-achieved.”

The Bucks have failed to hit the heights of Cowan’s first season in charge, where they narrowly missed out on the National North play-offs and reached the sem-finals of the FA Trophy.

Cowan’s troops, beaten 2-1 at home by Darlington on Saturday, sit 14th after an inconsistent campaign.

There have been rumblings of discontent among supporters but Cowan believes they need to be realistic in their expectations.

“I feel like we’ve had a little¬†bit of second season syndrome,” said Cowan, who signed a new two-year deal as boss last summer. “From day one I could feel the energy around the ground wasn’t as it was last year.

“That’s been very difficult to recapture but we’ll be working very hard to do that. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.

“I understand from being a player at Telford where we had arguably the most successful season in the club’s history, the following season was very difficult to replicate because it’s an energy that is very difficult to go again.”

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