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Ebbsfleet United captain Dave Winfield speaks up for manager Daryl McMahon

By Steve Tervet

Club captain Dave Winfield has dismissed talk of rifts in the Ebbsfleet changing-room and insists all the players are fully behind boss Daryl McMahon.

Some Fleet supporters are losing patience, having seen their side win just one game in eight and lose six times at home already this season.

McMahon is bearing the brunt of the criticism but Winfield has spoken out in defence of his manager.

Dave Winfield. Stonebridge Road, Northfleet..Ebbsfleet United v Harrogate Town..Action..Picture: Steve Crispe. (4635641)
Dave Winfield. Stonebridge Road, Northfleet..Ebbsfleet United v Harrogate Town..Action..Picture: Steve Crispe. (4635641)

"He has 100% support," said Winfield. "Not at any time would I be looking at the manager and questioning him.

"His managerial skills and the way he inspires the players is incredible. It's something I've not seen from a manager in a number of years.

"He's continually demanding more from the players.

"I've played under managers you only see once a week - on a matchday. You won't see them throughout the week.

"The players will be out in all conditions, training hard, and the manager will be in the cafeteria with a nice cup of tea watching you out of the window.

"He's the complete opposite. He's out there putting on sessions he feels will improve individuals and improve us as a unit."

Footballers out of favour can become troublesome but Winfield says this squad remains united.

He said: "There's nobody in that group who's going to cause rifts, which helps. That's down to the manager's recruitment.

"They're good lads, they all work hard and they're all willing.

"I don't want to get anybody too bogged down with how we are because we're mid-table with our sights still on the play-offs.

"It's still early and when you've got a young group in there, the last thing I want them to start feeling is a sense that things are going to continue to go in this fashion because they're not."

Dave Winfield shows his frustration against AFC Fylde Picture: Andy Payton
Dave Winfield shows his frustration against AFC Fylde Picture: Andy Payton

Winfield is convinced Fleet aren't far from turning the corner.

He said: "This is all about the players at the moment and it's about doing the right things to get results.

"In football, it is fine margins. You put one home win along with another and suddenly you're going four, five, six in a row. I genuinely believe that.

"There's no crisis at the moment. It's just the fact the players want to do better and they're working hard to do that.

"There are more than enough characters here, which probably adds to the frustration for the players in the dressing-room.

"They can see it's there but at the moment, we're not able to spin it on its head."

Centre-half Winfield missed a large chunk of last season with knee ligament damage.

He said: "I played every minute of every game after my injury last year, which was very difficult but I got through it.

"I picked up some good form towards the end of the year and now I'm looking to get as much out of the games as possible.

"The injury is now behind me and all I'm thinking about is what we can do to bring us out of the end of this small run of (bad) home form."

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