Ebbsfleet are out to highlight their improvement by securing a first home win of the season this weekend – but manager Garry Hill knows it won’t be easy.
Fleet host Barrow at Stonebridge Road on Saturday, a team Hill rates highly.
The Cumbrians have transformed their reputation since former Blackpool defender Ian Evatt took charge at the start of last season.
A big, physical, route-one side under Paul Cox, they play some of the best football in the National League with ex-Premier League centre-back Evatt at the helm.
Fleet beat Barrow 1-0 in Daryl McMahon’s final game in charge last November, with Hill taking charge a few days later.
The same result will do Hill nicely – although he’d like his side to see more of the ball.
He said: “Barrow are a very good side, believe me.
“They’re a great footballing side, they ping it about and I think they actually came down to Ebbsfleet the game before I came to the club last season.
“On that day Ebbsfleet touched the ball – I was told – twice in 90 minutes and scored once.
“They’ll be tough but they’re all tough and when you look at the next four games, Barrow at home, Barnet at home, Wrexham away and Harrogate away, there are no easy bus rides.
“It’s going to be hard for us but I think we’re showing signs now.”
Ebbsfleet are four points from safety but have lost just once in six games since starting the season with five defeats.
They scored twice in the last few minutes to rescue a 2-2 draw at leaders Woking last weekend, a result that further encouraged Hill after his summer rebuild.
He said: “I think when we showed the character we did and played the way we did, against a team who’s only dropped seven points in their first 10 games, to come back and get a 2-2 draw says a great deal.
“We’ve had a few draws but when you come from five straight defeats and all of a sudden you’ve lost one in six, you’re going the right way.
“People have to understand and, being fair, I think there is common sense at the football club.
“I’m a football manager. At the end of the day it’s a results business but we had 15 new players come into the club this year.
“We had 27 players when we came to the club, there were nine staff, more staff, more players than at Real Madrid.
“We’ve had a hard summer. All the players were given free transfers in May and June.
“I had five players on June 26 and all of a sudden I had three players on June 28 when Corey Whitely went to Newport and Ebou Adams went to Forest Green.
“We were meant to be training on June 29 so it’s been hard. It’s been tough but I do see a lot of positives with the management team and the playing squad.
“I think over the last six games you see the performances we’ve put in, apart from Aldershot, have been very competitive, consistent performances.
“Now we’ve got to turn those draws into wins.”
Ebbsfleet host Barnet on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.