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Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb reacts to 2-0 National League South win over Braintree Town

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Manager Dennis Kutrieb might get a few fans asking him for the lottery numbers this week - after predicting Ebbsfleet's method of victory on Tuesday night.

The Fleet had to be patient to break down a Braintree team who arrived at Stonebridge Road determined to frustrate their hosts.

Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb. Picture: Chris Davey
Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb. Picture: Chris Davey

The Fleet boss told his players at half-time that he would be happy with a 1-0 win via a scrappy penalty - and they finally made the breakthrough through Rakish Bingham's spot-kick with 16 minutes left.

Substitute Dominic Poleon added a second to settle any nerves among the home fans, so Kutrieb's prediction wasn't totally correct in the end.

"I told them at half-time it doesn't matter even if we get a penalty," revealed the Fleet boss.

"I said a dirty one-nil win with a penalty is enough, if I'm honest that's what I said. It was not a clear prediction but at least a little bit of it was true.

"I told them we will get a penalty if we are in and around the box because Braintree will get tired and make the foul, and then we can score from the penalty.

"It doesn't matter (if that's how the goal comes) but be patient and do what we've done all season and we'll get our rewards."

The win moves Ebbsfleet up to third place in the table and they could go to within a point of leaders Dartford if results go their way at the weekend. Fleet host Bath while Darts visit improving Dorking Wanderers.

Kutrieb isn't getting carried away by that sideshow, however, with barely a quarter of the league programme played.

"The table now doesn't mean anything," said the Fleet boss. "We need to improve during the season and get better.

"We are good at the moment and good enough to win our games but there's still a lot of room to improve in different areas.

"We can be happy with our defensive work, it is getting better during the season, and another clean sheet is really enjoyable for me.

"I don't care about the table at the moment, I care about three points as they were massive and important for us."

On the difficulties posed by a Braintree side who defended with five across the back and four in midfield, Kutrieb felt patience was always going to be key.

"I think we need to learn that every opponent has different approaches," he said.

"If the opponent has the approach to sit deep and wait for the counter break and the one chance and don't let us play our game and only want to destroy our game you need to be patient, you need to wait and you will get your chances.

"Then you need to be clinical, even (if you score with a) penalty it doesn't matter."

As for any thoughts on how Ebbsfleet will get the better of Bath this weekend, Kutrieb said: "I don't have a prediction, I only know it is going to be a tough game.

"They are not as bad as the table suggests at the moment. We need to make sure they are not on top of us and that we don't under-estimate them.

"We need to work really hard and if we get our game going then we will get chances to win the game again. I'm really looking forward to it and we need to be well prepared for it."

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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