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Ebbsfleet United manager Dennis Kutrieb on FA Cup first round trip to Leyton Orient

Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb isn’t treating FA Cup opponents Leyton Orient any differently.

The Fleet head to Brisbane Road this Saturday in the first round, looking for their first Football League scalp since beating Colchester in the 1995/96 season.

Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb. Picture: Chris Davey (52361061)
Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb. Picture: Chris Davey (52361061)

It’s a big occasion for the club but Kutrieb, who has watched Orient in person twice against Forest Green and Hartlepool, will prepare like he would for any league game.

“I saw them against Forest Green two weeks ago as well,” said Kutrieb, who watched Orient beat Hartlepool 5-0 last Saturday.

“I would say that we know what they do. We will prepare like it’s a league game but it will be good to see how good we are at the moment and if we can compete against them.

“It’s going to be a very exciting and interesting day to see the set-up for a League 2 team.

“It’s a tough game but I don’t mind that, every game is a big one in this round. They got a good win when they faced Hartlepool but they had to suffer moments as well in the game which they came through well.

“If we’re on top of our performance then I’m not worried. They are better and two leagues above us but I’m not worried or afraid, quite the opposite, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Kutrieb says the occasion will inspire his players more than any pre-match team talk, but he dismissed claims of the tie being a free hit for his team.

The Fleet boss warned any defensive mishaps will be punished, however.

“You don’t need to say many words in the dressing room before this game,” he added. “We will prepare like every other game, we’ll take it seriously and not just for fun - we’re not anxious or fearful, I think we can win this game.

“If the players see we are still confident and prepare the same way as a coaching staff, it will help them make more right decisions.

“We can’t afford to make stupid mistakes, they will punish them straight away. If you don’t do that, then you have a chance to win the game and score goals.

“It’s going to be a tough game but if we don’t make mistakes then we have a chance if we perform where we should be.

“In 90 minutes of football, anything is possible. No matter who you play against, you can get something out of the game if you are at the top of your performance levels. Our players know we can get something out of the game.

“For me, it is very similar and I don’t care if it’s a league game or a FA Cup tie - I don’t like losing. I want to win and we’re going to play to win the game. We go there with the aim of getting into the next round, that’s the only reason we are in the FA Cup.

“There’s no different preparation. You have to do your homework and work hard. The number of chances we get might not be as many and we have to be more careful (at the other end).”

Kutrieb has already made it through three qualifying rounds to experience the first round of the world’s most famous cup competition for the first time.

It’s a great achievement but he’d love to be talking about an appearance in the third round one day.

He added: “It’s nice to be in the first round but it’s not something to put on my CV yet - it would mean a lot if we could get to the third round where the big teams come in, no disrespect to League 1 or 2 sides.

“I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, we deserve to be in the first round but I want to go further.”

More than 600 tickets had already been sold earlier in the week so Fleet could be cheered on by as many as 1,000 fans.

Kutrieb feels they will have a role to play if his team can stay in the game.

“Our fans can help us a lot if it’s a tight game and we get one or two chances,” said the Fleet boss. “If we can get them behind us then they will push us forward.

“It will make it a great day to see so many fans supporting us and I’m sure the boys will deliver and leave nothing in the tank.

“The fans will definitely have an impact if the game is close, they can really push us forward to win the game. Hartlepool had over 650 fans there last week and it was noisy, it would give us a massive lift to have even more support.”

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