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Manager Dennis Kutrieb says Ebbsfleet United need maximum points from remaining games to ensure top-three finish in National League South


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Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb feels they need to win all three of their remaining games to land a top-three finish.

The Fleet are a point ahead of fourth-placed Dartford with three games left in National League South.

Shaquile Coulthirst scored Fleet's winner at Tonbridge last week and boss Dennis Kutrieb wants three more victories. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Shaquile Coulthirst scored Fleet's winner at Tonbridge last week and boss Dennis Kutrieb wants three more victories. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

The Darts have arguably the tougher run-in but Kutrieb doesn’t expect them to slip up, which means his Ebbsfleet side need to deliver maximum points to land third spot.

A top-three place will avoid an additional play-off game against the team finishing seventh and guarantee a home semi-final.

“We wanted to be top but that’s not possible,” explained Kutrieb.

“We wanted to be second but that’s not really possible as Dorking are doing a good job.

“Now we are third and want to take that, it’s in our own hands if we win all three games. If we don’t win all three games then I don’t think we’ll get third.

“I think Dartford are very much up for it and will win all of their remaining games, even if they don’t have easy matches.

“If you need to chase someone and have to win to overtake them then it can help drive you on.

“But I’ve been confident about our chances for a few weeks now that we can win these games.

“It’s in our hands, it would be more uncomfortable if it wasn’t. We are going to have to win all three so everyone needs to be up for it.”

Ebbsfleet host Chippenham on Saturday before visiting bottom side Billericay on Bank Holiday Monday. They finish the season at home to Chelmsford on May 7.

Dartford visit Slough on Saturday, host Braintree on Monday and finish their campaign at Eastbourne.

“Chippenham want to be in the play-offs and have a good chance if they beat us,” added Kutrieb.

“On Monday, Billericay are fighting for their lives to stay in the division and don’t want to get relegated. They are two tough games coming up for us inside three days.

“If we win the next two games then I am very confident we can finish third but we have to make sure that we take our chances.

“As a manager you always find things you want to improve, even when you get four wins in a row. I can tell you straight away we could do this better or that better.

“But that’s similar for every team. Dorking conceded two late goals to Concord and I’m sure Marc White, their manager, saw some things he didn’t like then even though they won 7-2, it’s the same for every manager.”

Ebbsfleet won 1-0 at Tonbridge last Saturday thanks to Shaquile Coulthirst’s early goal but it was a story of missed chances.

However, given Kutrieb’s team are the third-highest scorers in the division, he is hardly reaching for the panic button on the back of it.

“We will address it the right way and watch the video with the players,” said Kutrieb.

“It’s not just the strikers, though. Paxman was one-on-one with the keeper, Tanner had a good chance, too.

“It can be a number of things, sometimes you rush it or make a wrong decision. It’s a mix of things but what we want to do is improve our quality, so next time we make the right decision, or we take the chance a different way.

“The one thing we can’t afford is to get lazy, we need to be focused and want to score, and then we will score more goals.”

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