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Ebbsfleet United manager Dennis Kutrieb fears National League South might have to go behind closed doors if Covid infection rates rocket


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Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb fears non-league football might need to be played behind closed doors again.

The National League South 2019/20 campaign was played without fans until eventually being called to a halt in February amid increasing rates of Covid.

Ebbsfleet boss Dennis Kutrieb - fears playing behind closed doors again in National League South later this season. Picture: Keith Gillard
Ebbsfleet boss Dennis Kutrieb - fears playing behind closed doors again in National League South later this season. Picture: Keith Gillard

With infections again on the rise across Europe, the German fears that Ebbsfleet might not be playing in front of supporters for much longer this campaign.

Asked if he fears the Fleet could end up playing behind closed doors again, Kutrieb replied: “For me, if I’m honest, yes.

“I feel secure here in England but I can see everyone in Europe is struggling again. If they don’t close the borders, which they haven’t done at the moment, then it will come back to us.

“Hopefully we get the boosters in and don’t suffer again as that would be terrible if we need to play behind closed doors.

“As you can see the bond behind the fans and players is really good, and big. That’s what the boys need and that’s the reason they are playing football.

“Fingers crossed we can finish the season, at the moment I’m a little bit concerned, but hopefully we get it done and don’t need to suffer again.”

More than 1,300 watched the Fleet’s 6-0 demolition of Welling on Saturday, a figure that will no doubt swell for Tuesday night’s derby clash with Maidstone at Stonebridge Road.

Amid the potential of future restrictions, it’s an occasion that Kutrieb will savour.

“It’s why the players are playing football, they want to play in front of crowds, they want to play in front of as many fans as possible,” added Kutrieb. “Hopefully we can see it for a long time as you never know what may happen with the virus, if it goes behind closed doors again (or not).

“I’ve seen the numbers in Germany and I’m aware of it, I’m not sure if we (can) go through the whole season so I’ll enjoy the time with the fans on Tuesday night.

“We need to make sure we get the right result because then it’s time for small celebrations. If we get a win on Tuesday, I don’t take it for granted and I’ll be happy.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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