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Ebbsfleet United midfielder Dean Rance urges supporters to get behind manager Steve Brown

By Steve Tervet

Steve Brown’s critics have been urged to give the Ebbsfleet manager their full backing if they want to be celebrating promotion next May.

Sections of the Fleet support remain unconvinced that Brown, who succeeded Liam Daish just over a year ago, is the man to lead them back to Conference Premier.

But players’ player-of-the-year Dean Rance, who turned down several rival offers before signing a new two-year contract at Stonebridge Road, insists Brown deserves better.

Dean Rance and Steve Brown after the 2014 Conference South play-off final Picture: Andy Payton

The midfielder said: "It’s always been a struggle for him from the start. All the fans loved Liam Daish from the year before and maybe they weren’t sure about the change.

"Slowly, he’s managed to get them on his side, although he had a little bit of a rough ride at the beginning.

"This year, we all need to stick together. There are going to be highs and lows and people need to stick by him.

"Browny was a big factor for me staying.

"I trust him that he’ll be the one to develop me as a player. He’s looked after me for the last couple of years and he’s the main reason for a lot of players.

"A lot of credit should go to him because he’s managed to keep a lot of players who could have gone elsewhere."

Dean Rance in action for the Fleet against Chelmsford City Picture: Andy Payton

"Of everyone who’s played under him, I don’t think I’ve heard a bad word said about him. It’s his management of players, he knows how to get the best out of people.

"I feel like I improved massively last season. I knew what my role was and stuck with it. Now we’ve got the extra day (training), I can go on to another level.

"Browny’s always said he wants me to push on and wants it to be with Ebbsfleet. That’s why I signed. I wouldn’t have signed for two years if I didn’t think they could do it."

Read the full interview in the Gravesend Messenger.

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