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Ebbsfleet United manager Dennis Kutrieb looks for continued defensive improvement at Braintree Town in National League South

Defensive solidity remains the key for Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb.

The Fleet are making a large charge in National League South and they will aim to make it four wins in a row at Braintree on Tuesday night.

Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb. Picture: Keith Gillard
Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb. Picture: Keith Gillard

They’ve conceded just once in three matches after conceding six goals in the two games prior to that, without having to sacrifice any of their attacking intent.

“The key is still what we have delivered in the last three games - that we don’t concede goals,” stressed Kutrieb.

“We need to make it tough to score against us. That’s the key because we will score goals all day long.

“It’s always about the balance, you need that right, and that’s game by game. We need to find the right approach. Now we’ve put more focus on the defence because that’s what we needed to sort.”

Victory could see Ebbsfleet back in the top three for the first time since late January.

But Kutrieb warned that Braintree are on a good run of their own as they attempt to steer clear of the relegation zone.

“It's always about momentum and the boys have confidence now but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win at Braintree,” said the Fleet boss.

“We need to make sure we get a win on Tuesday because that’s maybe an even tougher game as everyone expects us to win.

“They’re in great form, with four 1-0 wins, two narrow defeats and a 0-0 draw in their last seven games - that’s outstanding and the form normally of a team who are title contenders.

“We need to be up for it, be mentally right and not turn up thinking we just get the win. It’s going to be really hard work and we need to do it again.

“We have a big squad so we can bring some fresh legs in but we need the same levels of intensity and quality, we need to be up for it.”

Dorking are 10 points clear of Ebbsfleet who have one game in hand. The leaders - who visit the Fleet on March 26 - make the trip to Eastbourne on Tuesday but time is running out if Kutrieb's men want to gatecrash the title race.

“I don’t know (if Dorking are too far ahead),” reflected Kutrieb. “We don’t need to look at other teams, we just need to make sure we get our wins.

“To be fair if we get 11 wins on the bounce then I would love to see where we are! I can’t see one team in this league will win every single game which is left. We need to do our homework, take it game by game and get mentally ready for Braintree.

“Then it’s not getting easier as we need to go to St Albans and then Dorking come here. It’s a great time at the moment, I don’t take it for granted and we’re up for it.”

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