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Ebbsfleet United midfielder Josh Wright says the sacking of manager Dennis Kutrieb can act as a wake-up call in battle against relegation

Midfielder Josh Wright believes the sacking of Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb could serve as a wake-up call to the squad.

The 34-year-old led a much-improved Ebbsfleet side respond to a tough week at Stonebridge Road by dominating large parts of a goalless National League draw with play-off chasing Oldham on Saturday.

There was renewed vigour and determination among the Ebbsfleet players - Wright believing a combination of Kutrieb’s exit and the Fleet’s predicament in the relegation zone combining as the Fleet enter the final third of the campaign.

“The reality is if we don’t start winning games then we’re getting relegated,” stated Wright. “We have to start winning football games.

“There’s been a lot of talking this week, a lot of deliberating and maybe it’s been a wake-up call that someone has lost their job now. That will be hurting him, we know that, and it’s been hurting us.

“The fresh voice has come in with Danny Searle and Anwar Uddin, they’ve been superb all week and given us everything they can. They’ve brought energy and a new voice and we’ve bought into that.

“They picked the team and they got a lot right. On another night we could have won the game.

“It’s 14 games left now and it will soon be down to 10 and then single figures. We don’t want to get into panic stations so we need to start picking up the points real quick.”

Kutrieb’s departure was tough for Wright, who credited the German with helping him rediscover his love for the game again after joining Ebbsfleet in the summer of 2022.

“Dennis and Chris (Franks, assistant manager) brought it back,” explained Wright. “I loved last season, albeit with the injury, and I’ve loved large parts of this season. I hate getting beat, I hate losing.

“I see a lot of myself in him, in the way he is with his winning mentality and drive in life. I do owe a lot to him. I owe a lot to all my managers who have shown faith in me.

“It’s never nice to see anyone lose their job in any walk of life, and football’s the same. It’s a brutal industry because one goes and another one comes in. It hurts but we have to move on, we have to buy into what it is.

“The club have done what they’ve done and now it’s up to us to put the faith back into the club and the fans and show them what we’re about as a group.”

The pair have spoken since and Wright expects Kutrieb and his trusted assistant Chris Franks to bounce back from their experiences in Kent.

“We didn’t have any real idea, we came into training, had a meeting and did what we had to do on the training ground,” explained Wright, reflecting on the day Kutrieb was sacked.

“Then later in the afternoon, Damian Irvine (chief executive) sent us a text in the group chat and broke the news to us. It hurt hard and it was a difficult day, I don’t like Mondays as it is and that made it even more difficult.

“We’ve had to digest it all week but you have to be professional and you have to man up. It’s been a sad week and I feel for Dennis and Chris. They were incredible with their work ethic and what they gave this football club.

“They deserve nothing but respect and appreciation of what they did here. I know one million per cent that they will bounce back, they’ve got a big future in the game.

National League table

“I spoke to Dennis. I’d say the majority of the squad have from what I know, either texting or calling.

“You owe managers a lot, they’re the ones that take the brunt of it come the end but we’re the ones that are out there and pick up the results. They set you up, and give you a style and the work ethic on the training ground but it’s on us.

“I thanked him and told him my thoughts, I wish him all the best. It happens in football, it’s a tough part in football but we all have to move in our own direction.”

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