Published: 06:00, 14 January 2021
Chris Solly produced a masterclass on his Ebbsfleet debut on Tuesday – even though he was only 70 per cent fit.
That’s the view of Fleet boss Dennis Kutrieb after the former Charlton right-back slotted in to a holding midfield role during their 2-1 home win over Concord in National League South.
Solly produced a near faultless display, pulling the strings as the Fleet came from behind to claim three points and end a run of five league games without a goal.
“He needs time to get fit and needed time to get fit,” said Kutrieb, who signed Solly a month ago.
“I would say he is at 70 per cent but that’s enough when you have his class. You can see he is outstanding, he always makes the right decisions and doesn’t hesitate to make a tackle. He plays easy passes and doesn’t force errors.
“When you play Championship and League 1 for so many years as a captain and everything else, you know exactly how to handle yourself and how to act as a player on the pitch.
“Of course, he was a little bit insecure if he was ready for 90 minutes but I told him to go for as long as he could and we will take care of him. He is not the youngest player so I don’t see him on the pitch every game for 90 minutes, only because of those reasons.
“We need to manage him well so he doesn’t get injured and he gets enough minutes to get fit.
“It’s massive when you have him in your team – we saw one mistake in 90 minutes which is outstanding.”
Solly was deployed in midfield and while that might have raised a few eyebrows among Addicks fans familiar with seeing him in defence, Kutrieb feels he has the quality to adapt.
“He has so many experiences as a right-back so he knows how to work in a defensive way,” added the Fleet boss.
“You can do it as a centre-mid as well, for a holding midfielder there’s no big difference.
“If we were playing League 1 or Championship then I’m not sure he could play central midfield but in National League South when you are such an experienced player you can play everywhere on the pitch because you know how to play the game and deliver the basics – and that’s what we need at the moment.
“We don’t need miracles, we need the basics and he delivered it perfectly for us.”
Solly joined the Fleet on a short-term basis last month, with the potential that he could move back into the
Football League should the opportunity arise.
It means there is a degree of uncertainty about how long he’ll be at Stonebridge Road but Kutrieb wants Solly’s experience in the camp for as long as
“The only thing I can say is that he is very happy with us,” added Kutrieb. “We get big compliments about our work, the environment, how we handle everything and how we train.
“He feels very comfortable with us and when both sides feel comfortable, we hope to work together (and) not only this season from my point of view.
“You need a good professional player, who isn’t selfish and thinks for the team (like) him, for as long as you can.”