Published: 05:00, 22 April 2022
Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb is impressed by striker Rakish Bingham’s willingness to improve his game.
The 28-year-old centre-forward has been an integral part of Fleet’s push towards a top-three spot in National League South this season.
He netted in both matches over the Easter weekend, with Fleet winning 2-1 over Dulwich and Concord.
Kutrieb demands plenty from his players but Bingham has taken it on board and the duo enjoy working together.
“We need to be ready for a few different things from opponents, if they press high, if they sit deep, who is pressing and in what position,” explained Kutrieb.
“Especially for Raks up top, it is crucial for him to work with me as I am very demanding and I try always to explain why he can be somewhere and when, what time and what to do.
“That’s the reason I am pleased with him, he is a very intelligent player, he isn’t just a striker. He knows exactly when it is the right moment.
“Sometimes you need to work with players for much longer and they might get a little bit of a feeling where they have to be but he understood it very early when we started working together. He is improving and that’s what I really like.”
The Fleet boss wants Bingham to get the balance right between dropping deep but still being in and around the penalty area to score enough goals.
It’s working well so far as Bingham has 14 goals and 10 assists to his name - they’re stats any striker would be proud of.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a problem but it’s an issue for him because he can take part both ways,” explained the Fleet boss.
“He can take part when he comes a bit deeper and drops in the right area because he is a threat there but also if we can find him in the box then he can score goals.
“To find this balance is more about him. If he has more games on the pitch then he finds that balance. Against Dulwich on Friday I can’t say it was perfect but it was very good, he found very often the right balance.
“He had some situations in the box, some situations on the halfway line under pressure, sometimes he dropped deep and the opponent followed him and he could turn and we were in straight away because the defenders left their position. There were a few good things and that’s why I’m very happy.”
With leading scorer Dominic Poleon continuing to chip in and Shaquile Coulthirst providing Kutrieb with food for thought given his level of performances, it’s a boost for the Fleet to have different attacking options.
But the one man they want to remain fit and firing on all cylinders is Bingham, who was sorely missed when he sat out nearly two months after being injured at Dorking in January.
“He is so important for us and we missed him a lot when he was injured, everyone could see - not just me - they could feel how big it was when he was injured,” added Kutrieb.
“I would say he’s still not 100%, there’s still a bit to improve. But even with this performance, the gaffer says there is more because I know him and I know where he was before he was injured. I’m really looking forward to seeing him more and more.”
Ebbsfleet travel to Tonbridge on Saturday, having booked their play-off spot by winning at Concord on Easter Monday.
The Fleet sit above rivals Dartford in third, knowing a top-three finish will ensure one less play-off fixture as they would go straight into a home semi-final clash against the winners of the tie between the teams who finish fourth and seventh.