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Interim Ebbsfleet United boss Danny Searle says spells with Waterford and Banik Ostrava make him a better manager than when he was sacked by Aldershot Town

Interim Ebbsfleet head coach Danny Searle admits he’s a better manager now than when he left Aldershot.

Searle has been tasked with steering the Fleet to calmer waters while the club look to appoint a permanent replacement for Dennis Kutrieb.

Danny Searle wants the chance to manage in the National League again. Picture: Dave Plumb/EUFC
Danny Searle wants the chance to manage in the National League again. Picture: Dave Plumb/EUFC

The former Shots manager was sacked in September 2021 after two years at The Rec and has since had spells as manager of Waterford in Ireland and number two in the Czech Republic with Banik Ostrava.

“You have to be honest and I think the biggest mistake I made when I was at Aldershot was coming away from my identity a little bit,” revealed Searle, who left the Shots after posting just one win in the first seven games of the 2021/22 season.

“I got sucked into that non-league world and lost my way with philosophy a little bit. You have to go away and look at yourself.

“Do I think we could have still done a good job with the squad? Yes, I do, because I don’t think any manager is going to say anything different.

“I’ve been in Europe now and I’ve worked in Ireland and the Czech Republic. My last game for Banik Ostrava was 20-odd thousand against Slavia Prague who are in the last 16 of the Europa League so I’ve been fortunate to work with some top players.

“Of course, you get better but you’ve got to want to get better and I do. I want to be successful. I had a fantastic experience at Aldershot, it didn’t end how I wanted it to end but that’s life.

“I think I’ve got better tools than I had then to work in this league and I think I’ve got a lot more to learn and develop as well so hopefully I can do it at this club.”

Searle has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to take on the Ebbsfleet role on a permanent basis.

He made a big impression on and off the pitch in his first few days at the club, and he clearly got a positive response from the players.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t want this job,” added Searle. “But especially having been in the building now and seeing the people, the infrastructure.

“The biggest thing for me is you see the positives and the little marginal gains that you can make with slight little changes around the place, we’ve done that already with the squad with some of our tactical detail we’ve gone into.

“It’s a brilliant club to work for but we’ll see what happens and regardless of that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 72 hours and whether it’s one day, 10 days or 100 days.”

While Searle enjoyed his first game in charge last Saturday, a goalless draw with Oldham, life doesn’t get any easier when the Fleet travel to runaway leaders Chesterfield this weekend.

The Spireites have won 15 and drawn one of their 16 home games this term.

“It is a free hit in the sense everybody outside of our dressing room would expect us to get beat,” said Searle. “But I reckon there were quite a few that expected us to get beat by Oldham.

“So, make us the underdog, we’re quite happy to be that and we’ll go there to win the game. That’s what we’re going to do and if Chesterfield think we’re just going to roll over then that’s not going to happen.”

Searle revealed he watched back Ebbsfleet’s last five games after being given the job on an interim basis.

Like Kutrieb, he wants his team to keep the ball - but he stressed that they’ve got to get their creative players more involved.

“I’ve watched the last five games,” said Searle. “I always do that whenever I show interest in a job, I watch all their goals and all the goals conceded.

“When you get an opportunity to be an interim manager, normally you are already in the club. So, to come in from outside and then go into the club was a little bit different.

“When I watched it back I was thinking that there’s a lot in this team so let’s hope that we can get the best out of them and they can keep delivering performances like that.

“I’m a heavily possession-based manager, that’s how I like my teams to play. But one thing I’ve learnt and I’ve developed as well going through my career is there has to be a purpose to it.

“If you’re just passing for the sake of passing, you’re easy to play against because the other team will just let you have it but also you starve your creative players of the ball sometimes.

“I want them to be brave and take risks and we did that on Saturday. Some of them didn’t pay off but quite a lot did.

“The more we can be braver on the ball and play with purpose, remember we’ve got the ball in the first place because we want to score, if we can keep doing that then I don’t think it will be long until the goals start flowing.”

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