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Ebbsfleet United boss Garry Hill confident he will keep the club in the National League

Garry Hill insists he'll never wave the white flag in Ebbsfleet's battle to survive in the National League.

Fleet are bottom of the table after 11 games, four points from safety having picked up only one win so far.

Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill Picture: John Westhrop
Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill Picture: John Westhrop

Scroll down to hear from the Fleet boss

But they showed real spirit to snatch a 2-2 draw at leaders Woking on Saturday after trailing 2-0 with six minutes to go.

One defeat in their last six games is an encouraging statistic and Hill believes their league position will improve.

When asked if he backed himself to keep the club in non-league's top flight, Hill said: "Of course I do.

"I’ve never waved a handkerchief in my life to surrender, I would never do that. You don’t do those kind of things and I don’t make excuses either.

"Sensible people, and there’s a very high percentage of them around, understand the difficulties there have been at the football club and it’s very hard to form a new football club of squad players and a team when you haven’t got anything in May or June.

"We’ve got a good group and we’re going in the right direction - might need one or two more and one or two go out and play - but it’s hard when a lot of players are committed to other clubs but we’re doing all right.

"People can turn round and say to me, over the last six games: ‘wouldn’t you have won three and lost three and have nine points instead of seven?’ No. The confidence is now starting to come on the grounds that players are saying ‘it’s another result.’

"We’re becoming harder to beat but it is always slow and it is always hard. When you look at the league table, it doesn’t fill you with excitement - but five results out of six do."

This was Hill's first return to Woking as a manager since leaving the club in 2017 after six-and-a-half years.

Cards fans were singing his name before kick-off and he applauded all four sides of the ground on an emotional return.

Hill said: "When I got to the ground, I went to walk down to the bottom changing-room (for the home team) and I thought 'I've got to go in that one' because of managing here.

"It's been low-key and I couldn't have asked for today to be any better.

"I will always pay my appreciation and respect to Woking fans and I think they've always done that. They showed that today and it was tremendous, quite a touching moment to have your own supporters - when you're in a hard battle in the league - turn out in good numbers and support the team properly and even Woking fans staying at the end to clap us, which was nice.

"It was always going to be a big day with Woking top of the league and us second-bottom but I always felt we could come here and get a result - although not in the manner that we did!

"At 1-0, the game was going one way or the other, there was nothing in it, but when they got a second goal it was going to be a big blow for a large majority of sides but we're showing now that we're digging in and we're fighting and we're playing to the end.

"The free-kick for the equaliser is worthy of getting any points anywhere and then we had the chance at the end with Josh Umerah.

"It was a great game of football and we'll be happier than they will be, on league positions and them being 2-0 up.

"The Ebbsfleet fans will be going home round the M25 saying 'we've shown a lot of character, we've shown a lot of commitment, we went down to Dover which wasn't easy, Eastleigh we should have beat last week at home, I know there's four draws in the last six but the team's now starting to gel and everyone's starting to work together.

"From five straight losses, to go into a little bit of a run, taking five results out of six games, it's going in the right direction."

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