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Ebbsfleet United midfielder Kieran Monlouis wants to play bigger role in season run-in

Kieran Monlouis has urged Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb to trust him for the big games.

Monlouis has largely been a fringe player this season but he’s taken his chance in recent weeks, including scoring the opener against Oxford City last weekend.

Kieran Monlouis on the ball for Ebbsfleet against Oxford City last weekend. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC (55508718)
Kieran Monlouis on the ball for Ebbsfleet against Oxford City last weekend. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC (55508718)

“It’s about building trust,” reflected Monlouis, speaking before the midweek reverse at Braintree. “I didn’t really get much of a chance near the start of the season.

“I’ve been in and out throughout but more recently I’ve managed to get my chance.

“The more I play then the more I can get the gaffer’s trust and build on that.”

Monlouis started only one league game before the turn of the year - at home to Braintree in October - but has begun four of the last nine matches.

With 10 games left for the Fleet, including a trip to St Albans this Saturday followed by a home clash with leaders Dorking the following weekend, the 25-year-old wants to play in all the big matches.

“I feel like it’s just wrong timing (before),” he said. “I’ve been getting back from injury or I’ve been injured and missed the big ones.

“I played in the St Albans game, which was quite big at the time, and we managed to get a good win and I put in a big performance.

“I was grateful to get another opportunity against Oxford to play another massive game. I just have to take my opportunity whenever I get one.

“I’m thinking to myself that everyone is coming back from injury now so there’s going to be places up for grabs and I have to be putting in good performances week in, week out, to keep my place in the team.

“I’m just happy to help the team whenever I can and whenever I get the chance.”

Eyebrows were raised when Monlouis was added to the Fleet’s squad at the start of the season, joining from Horsham.

But on the times he has been picked, Monlouis has shown no shortage of class and is a great link between midfield and attack.

“These days people call it the luxury role but I try to take it away from that,” he added.

“I like to show my strength in that position as well with regains and winning the ball back higher up the pitch for my team. I try to mix that in with the calmness on the ball when I receive it on the half-turn or through gaps.

“I try to mix the muscle with the finesse and that’s what I feel I can bring in that position especially.

“The gaffer said to me the most important thing playing in that position is transition. Can I get forward, and then if we lose it can I get back? I had to take on board what he said and show it on the pitch.”

Monlouis’ goal last weekend was only his second of the campaign, but it’s a tally he wants to add to if he can stay in the side.

“I kick myself all the time as I feel like I need to score more goals,” said Monlouis. “But at the same time I feel like I need to get in those positions more and I always say to myself to get in the right positions and when it comes, I feel like I’ll take my chance.

“I got in the box against Oxford on Saturday, kept a cool head and managed to get on the scoresheet.

“Winning is the main thing, the team comes first but if I can chip in with goals and assists along the way then I’m happy.

“In terms of a goal target, I’d say five or six before the end of the season. It’s a big ask but if I’m in a position to score then I’ve got to take it.

“We’ve always got to stay ready. That’s the thing about our squad, if you take one player out then another player can come in and do exactly the same job.

“It’s about consistency on my behalf, showing what strengths I have and what I can bring to the team as well. That’s what I feel like I’m doing at the moment.”

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