Published: 00:00, 13 August 2017
Saturday's dramatic 3-3 draw with AFC Fylde needs to serve as a wake-up call for Ebbsfleet United.
That's according to manager Daryl McMahon, whose side were 2-0 down inside 15 minutes to the National League North champions at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.
Fleet scored an 89th-minute equaliser to maintain their unbeaten start in the National League but McMahon was far from happy with their first-half showing.
He said: "I don’t think we performed anywhere near our levels today.
"I thought Fylde were excellent, especially in the first half. They moved the ball well, created some good chances and we were lucky just to be one behind at half-time.
"In the second half we were a lot better, took the game to them better but we were nowhere near the levels that we’ve set ourselves.
"It’s a wake-up call in the sense of the defensive organisation. We’ve got to get better at that.
"In the Conference South, teams came here, put 10 behind the ball, tried to stay in the game and counter us. Teams at this level won’t because we’re a small team in this league.
"Other teams have got big players, good players, good management teams and they’re going to come here and think they can get something. We have to be ready for that - and I don’t think we were (on Saturday).
"It’s part of the challenge for the whole club. Even in the first 15 minutes when we’re 2-0 down, it’s very quiet. Everyone’s quiet, everyone’s a little bit shocked and we can’t be. We’ve all got to rise to the challenge of what this league brings to try to compete in it.
"I know we will but it’s about doing it now and not waiting. That’s the wake-up call.
"I keep saying it but Fylde are a very good side. They will be up and around the top of the division at the end of the season."
Ebbsfleet's first three games back in the National League have produced a win and two draws.
"There’s loads to work on," McMahon said. "It’s August and I think people get carried away as well, thinking that we’ve had a point and a win and we should win every game. It’s stupid.
"We’re in a tough division with lots of good sides. We’re going to try to compete, which we are at the minute.
"We’ve maintained not being beaten in I don’t know how long now (since Boxing Day) and that’s important to us as well. If we can keep that going it would be good.
"It’s a wake-up call in the sense of little bits we’ve got to get better at but we knew that anyway and we move on to Tuesday night."
Ebbsfleet's next game is away to Dagenham & Redbridge.
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