Published: 00:00, 31 December 2017 |
Ebbsfleet's disappointment at drawing with Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday showed how far they've come in 2017, said manager Daryl McMahon.
Fleet were four minutes away from making it six straight home wins when Daggers substitute Mason Bloomfield deflected Matt Robinson's shot beyond stranded keeper Nathan Ashmore.
The result leaves McMahon's side three places and three points outside the National League play-offs at the turn of the year.
"We probably didn't do enough," McMahon admitted. "Dagenham got into our territory quite a bit and if you keep letting them in there and they keep slinging balls into the box, something might fall for them and it was a big deflection to beat Ash.
"We're disappointed to not win the game from the position we were in and I think that shows how far we've come in 2017, that we've played Dagenham & Redbridge at home and are disappointed we only drew.
"If you look at us from the first game of the season to now, we're a far better team. Earlier in the season, we were too expansive and too open but if you look at us now, we're a team that looks like it's going to win games, get points, be hard to beat and we've done all right."
Fleet led through a Jack Powell goal at half-time but Dagenham were good value for their equaliser after keeping the home side in their own half for much of the second period.
McMahon said: "The performance was average. I thought, at the end, we were running on empty.
"Their bench was brilliant for them, two of the best players in the league in Ferrier and Whitely, which shows the strength of their squad.
"We're not quite there yet and it's a bit of a reality check in the sense of everyone getting excited about being near the play-offs. In terms of the whole squad, we're probably a little bit weaker than other teams and it showed with the strength of their group today."
Ebbsfleet, promoted from National League South in May, picked up 93 points in 2017 - a record bettered only by Manchester City across the top five divisions of English football.
McMahon said: "It's an astonishing record for this level and the pressure the club was under going into a new league. I've said before about the injuries we had at the start of the season that we had to deal with, that we didn't moan about, we got on with it and we've come together very nicely as a group.
"We look forward to going into 2018 as a group and kicking on. We've put ourselves in a position where the play-offs, on paper, are attainable, if we can keep people fit, and we've got something to fight for if we can.
"Whether we've got the numbers to really do it, I'm not sure, but we'll give it a good go.
"We'd like to (make a signing) if the right one's out there but at the moment we're drawing a blank in bringing people in.
"I just want someone that makes us better, whether it's loan or a free agent, someone that can improve the group, which is hard to do for everyone - especially at this time of year because everyone's fighting for something."
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