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Home   Gravesend   Sport   Article

Ebbsfleet United boss Steve Brown's half-time rant inspired his team to come from behind to beat Bishop's Stortford

19 January 2014
by Steve Tervet

Steve Brown (Pic Andy Payton)

Steve Brown

Ebbsfleet United manager Steve Brown lost his temper at half-time on Saturday - and it had the desired effect.

Brown cut an exasperated figure for much of the first-half as the Fleet trailed 1-0 to Bishop's Stortford at Stonebridge Road.

The home side's passing was dreadful at times and Stortford strikers Cliff Akurang and Brian Woodall were having everything their own way.

When the half-time whistle blew, Brown got stuck into his players.

He said: "I lost my temper a little bit and I thought it was right to do so.

"I don't like to point fingers and dig people out and raise my voice but it was the right time to do it.

"We had lost two straight here and I was keen to not make it three, so I think the rocket came at the right time.

"I wasn't pleased with the back-four. I thought they got bullied a little bit by the front two of Bishop's Stortford in the first 45 - and so did the full-backs.

"That was my main complaint at half-time. Because they were getting bullied, they got a little bit negative in their play, they dropped too deep and the gap between them and the midfield four was too big.

"The performance came out of left-field. We were nine points after nine games and this takes us to 31 points in (the last) 14 games. Why we're not playing with the confidence of a team that's in that form, I don't know.

"I know I've got a team that can play pass-and-move and when it's confident, it will play well against every side in this league. But equally, when we're not quite there or not 'at it', we can look very ordinary."

Ebbsfleet competed better after the restart. Ben May levelled the scores on 75 minutes and Aiden Palmer then scored a dramatic late winner.

Brown said: "You have to have character in your dressing-room and they showed good character. The back-four were much more competitive in the second-half, they showed better energy, they competed better, and the midfield was much better in terms of the gaps.

"Once the goal went in, we were a different team. When the goal went in and it went 1-1 and I brought my subs on, we had a Billy Bricknell chance, a Thalassitis chance, Osborn got in behind the defence.

"I thought we were excellent in the second half, so the response was fantastic and the character of the players was superb."

Michael West, on his return to Stonebridge Road, lasted just over an hour before Brown withdrew the winger. It was West's third appearance in eight days since re-joining the Fleet from Crewe Alexandra.

Brown said: "Michael West was dizzy at half-time. He's come out of an environment where he's barely been playing competitive football and we go 'bang, have that, Westy, three games in a week.'

"At half-time, he's feeling a bit giddy. He understands that he hasn't played in 18 months in terms of regular first-team football. It doesn't matter what level you play at, when you're playing for a first-team, your fitness levels and the competitive edge do knock the stuffing out of you."

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