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Ebbsfleet United interim head coach Danny Searle urges club to make decision on managerial role after excellent 2-2 draw at Chesterfield

Ebbsfleet interim head coach Danny Searle wants the club to make a decision on his future sooner rather than later.

The Fleet have drawn both matches under Searle since sacking boss Dennis Kutrieb, including an impressive 2-2 draw at runaway National League leaders Chesterfield on Saturday.

Interim head coach Danny Searle. Chesterfield v Ebbsfleet United, National League, 10 February 2024. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Interim head coach Danny Searle. Chesterfield v Ebbsfleet United, National League, 10 February 2024. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

The club still remain in the relegation zone but the way they’ve gone about their business under Searle, with a vast improvement in their performances both individually and collectively, has been clear to see.

After the Chesterfield game, Searle stated: “Regardless of what happens in the next 24-48 hours, it’s been an absolute pleasure and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and what two games to be involved in - Oldham and Chesterfield. I’ll take that and walk away with a smile.”

He clarified those comments by adding: “I’m only saying that because whatever they decide they’re going to have to be in early in the week to make sure they are prepped for Eastleigh.

“Me and Damian (Irvine, chief executive) have had open dialogue in terms of what we’re doing and trying to get the squad to where it needs to be. The role itself has kind of taken a backseat because if you focus too much on it then you can neglect things that affect the team.

“We’ve just focused on getting the boys ready, getting them into a situation where they have belief they can get something out of a game. It’s no disrespect to what has gone on before but historically they potentially could have folded at half-time against what we were up against and full credit to them.

“We’ve got some great leaders in the dressing room and you’re starting to hear voices in there now. The first session I did was all me, and anyone who knows me knows that I talk a lot and shout a lot. But you’re starting to hear them come to the forefront now and that’s all we need. We just need people to step up.

“Whatever happens at the end of the season or in the next two or three weeks, these supporters want to see fight. That’s what all fans want to see, they want to see a team fight and look like they respect the badge and the club. I wasn’t here before but for the last two games they’ve most certainly done that.”

There are just 13 games left for the Fleet to steer themselves to safety.

The performances against Oldham and Chesterfield have certainly boosted confidence within the squad – and fanbase – as well as Searle’s credentials to get the role on a permanent basis until the end of the season.

When asked if he was happy to go week-to-week, Searle responded: “I don’t think that’s good for the team.

“I think the team needs some security now, some continuity. Whether it’s myself or a different manager, they need someone who is going to be with them until the end of the season now, and beyond.

“Like I’ve said to the club from my perspective, I want to build a culture and a philosophy that Ebbsfleet are proud of and gets us success. We want some longevity to that.

“For me, if they said it’s another week then I’m not going to turn down the opportunity because I’ve really enjoyed working with the lads.

“But for the players’ sake I think something needs to be done pretty soon. They want to know where they stand.

“We’re building relationships now and personalities are coming to the forefront. You want to either stop that so someone else can do it, or give yourself the chance to build on it.”

Report: Chesterfield 2-2 Ebbsfleet

Ebbsfleet were excellent at Chesterfield, a team that had won seven league games in a row in 2024 and are on the verge of returning to League 2.

Goals from Rakish Bingham and Ben Chapman at the start of either half were enough for the Fleet to claim a point, and it could have been more as they had the better of the second-half chances.

“I don’t think anyone gave us a chance,” added Searle. “That’s a cliché saying that’s motivation enough but it’s easier said than done when you’re a group of players that things haven’t necessarily gone your way this season.

“The fluidity of Chesterfield’s play is frightening and the job the staff have done with what they’ve got is phenomenal. You look at their talent, the subs they’re making, the passages of play and it’s fantastic football. That’s why they are where they are.

“So, to come here and not only match them at times but create the problems we created, cause the problems we caused, and show the character we did to come back from behind and get something from the game is testament to everyone involved.”

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