Published: 08:35, 07 November 2019
| Updated: 09:06, 07 November 2019
Ebbsfleet host Notts County in the FA Cup first round on Saturday – but assistant boss Tristan Lewis has revealed he didn’t bother watching the draw!
Unsure at the time what the future held for Kevin Watson, who was appointed Fleet manager last weekend, Lewis opted for family time instead.
Add into the mix that Fleet still needed to get through a replay in the fourth qualifying round against Woking and Lewis’ caution was understandable.
“I didn’t even watch the FA Cup draw to be fair because I didn’t expect to be here for that long!” said Lewis.
“I spoke to Ben Gerring who plays for Woking and he said Notts County were the best team they’ve faced all year.
“It will be a challenge, they are a real solid, strong outfit so we will have to be at our best. Everyone is positive about it.”
After testing spells at Maidstone and Billericay, Lewis has got his enthusiasm for the game back at Stonebridge Road.
It’s the first time he has worked with Watson and he is enjoying the positive response they’ve had so far.
“It’s whetted the appetite but I came in to support Kev and that’s my job,” said Lewis.
“It’s been interesting. I was enjoying my break until Kev rang me on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago.
“It helps when you’re winning and they are a good group of lads.
“They say the table doesn’t lie but if they keep responding to each other and what we’re doing, then I think the table will look quite different in a few weeks’ time.
“You love football. The games are never enjoyable when you’re down the bottom. It would be nice to have one when you can just relax but they’ve all been tight.
“Even at Chorley, first half we were quite poor and the second half was as good as we’ve been.
“The lads are good players and all good lads as well which helps.”
Once the FA Cup is out of the way, focus will turn again to Fleet’s battle for survival in National League.
Lewis was in temporary charge at Maidstone last year – and still believe he could have kept them up before the club opted to go for the experience of John Still.
“I said to the boys after the first session, me and Simon (Walton) felt we would have kept Maidstone up last year,” said Lewis.
“I’ve no doubt about that and the players we worked with had no doubt about that.
“On the first day here I said that, and with no disrespect to the Maidstone boys last year, this is a better squad.”
More by this authorMatthew Panting