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Ebbsfleet United boss Daryl McMahon already planning for next season

By Steve Tervet

Daryl McMahon wants Ebbsfleet to be challenging for promotion to the Football League next season.

Fleet are seven points outside the play-offs ahead of their Easter double-header against Eastleigh and Dover.

With two games in hand over the Whites, breaking into the top seven isn't out of the question yet but boss McMahon is thinking longer-term.

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Simon O'Connor
Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Simon O'Connor

He said: "I thought if we got into the top 10 this season it would be a good achievement in our first time back in the division.

"I don't think any of the promoted teams will get into the play-offs this season, or the teams who got relegated. It's the teams who have been here and seen it, year in, year out, who have strengthened over time and I think we're going through that process now.

"We've had a really good season and we can look back on many games and think 'we could have won that one' like anyone can but the last eight games will show us a lot about us preparing for next season. I want to be in the mix next season, to be higher than we are now.

"We're three or four players short. We've operated with one striker all season because Darren McQueen has been out and that's an area we need to improve on.

"I'm not going to reveal all my secrets now but we need to do a lot of work in the summer."

Fleet's last four home games are all against teams occupying promotion spots.

Following the derby against Dover on Easter Monday, they host three of the top four - Macclesfield, Wrexham and Sutton - in the space of 15 days.

McMahon said: "We play very frequently between now and the end of the season and we're looking forward to all the games, especially with three out of the next four at home, big games against teams above us in the division."

Ebbsfleet were held 1-1 by Maidenhead on Saturday in what was only their second game in March.

McMahon said: "We lacked a general sharpness which hopefully is (back) now. There's lots of stuff to work on.

"Defensively, as a team, I don't think we were good enough. It was too easy to get crosses in against us.

"We need to be better on the ball because we were too slow, too ponderous in possession.

"We'll need to be better than we were on Saturday to get anything against Eastleigh."

Monday's home game against Dover kicks off at 3pm.

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