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Ebbsfleet United full-back Aiden Palmer told by manager Steve Brown to fight for his place after being dropped

By Steve Tervet
Steve Brown and Aiden Palmer Picture: Andy Payton

Full-back Aiden Palmer has been told to fight for his shirt after being dropped for the first time since joining Ebbsfleet United.

Palmer, who was ever-present for the Fleet last season, was left out for the visit of Wealdstone on Bank Holiday Monday.

Ebbsfleet boss Steve Brown explained Palmer’s absence.

He said: "I think Aiden needed to come out of the side. I had a good chat with Aiden on Monday and he responded brilliantly. He all-but-admitted that it was the right decision.

"I’ve said to Aiden that it now becomes a fight for his spot again. He hasn’t had that in the last three or four years of his career.

"He was mega-consistent last year, probably one of the most consistent, and he played the most minutes of any player but he’s just been struggling in pre-season and he’s not hit the form he hit last year.

Aiden Palmer on the ball for Ebbsfleet United against Whitehawk Picture: Andy Payton

"I’m hoping, just by bringing him out, he settles down, he has a little look at the games in front of him and it triggers him back into life."

Chris Sessegnon has started 2014-15 as Ebbsfleet’s first-choice right-back and Joe Howe, who missed the start of the season with a calf injury, took Palmer’s place at left-back against Wealdstone.

Brown added: "Aiden will admit that the form he’s in was always going to be borderline in terms of getting picked again.

"In terms of the response I got from Aiden, it was first-class and he’s the sort of character that will knuckle down and fight tooth-and-nail to get back into that team. As a manager, that’s all you can ask.

"Joe Howe’s been waiting patiently. He’s gone in, done well, kept another clean sheet and that competition for places is crucial."

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