Published: 00:00, 28 August 2014
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.
"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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