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Ebbsfleet United boss Garry Hill on the 1-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge

By Steve Tervet

Garry Hill refused to blame problems off the pitch for Ebbsfleet's defeat to Dagenham on Saturday.

Fleet were beaten by a Tomi Adeloye goal at Stonebridge Road and could have no complaints with the result.

Hill admitted the Daggers showed more desire on the day but insisted off-field matters had no bearing on the performance of his players.

Ebbsfleet United manager Garry Hill Picture: Chris Davey
Ebbsfleet United manager Garry Hill Picture: Chris Davey

"I wouldn't get involved in that," he said. "I think that's the biggest problem with previous management and previous people at this football club.

"The same old thing comes out and I won't have it.

"I understand that things have been awkward off the field of play, I respect that, and the boys have been superb but it doesn't wash with me.

"No-one turns round and says that to me if we beat teams. I won't get involved in that.

"We haven't been good enough today. Collectively, we were far short of the standards required to get a result.

"Over the 90 minutes, we got beat fair and square and I've got no complaints in any way or form.

"It's disappointing but we get in on Monday morning and try to prepare for two big Easter games."

Ebbsfleet remain eighth in the National League but the gap to the play-offs is now four points with three to play after Eastleigh beat Gateshead.

Hill said: "When you get to a stage of the season where you are close to the play-offs, the stakes become greater and if you have a setback, it makes it harder to recover. We've done ourselves no favours in that sense.

Michael Cheek tracked by former Ebbsfleet defender Kenny Clark Picture: Chris Davey
Michael Cheek tracked by former Ebbsfleet defender Kenny Clark Picture: Chris Davey

"We weren't good enough, we've not worked their goalkeeper and Nathan Ashmore made three or four good saves.

"We were still staying in the game at 1-0 and we were trying to get the ball forward in the second half, we tried different formations but we just didn't have that drive about us today, which is strange.

"You show a certain amount of loyalty to players who have been playing over a period of time and momentum is with you. We were very strong on the bench with players with experience but you pick a team to win the game and I have no regrets in respect of the team I selected.

"But we've come off the pitch way short of the standards we've set and it's frustrating.

"We were very poor and I'm very disappointed to say that. I haven't had to say that since I've been at the football club by our standards.

"Dagenham started a lot better than us and we never really got going. They deservedly went 1-0 up at half-time and could have been two or three up.

"It was a very poor goal from a defensive point of view, which is disappointing.

"We rallied round better in the second half, we had to make some changes and we made a change on the stroke of half-time.

"Michael Cheek came off for Danny Kedwell but five or six players could have come off. I don't like saying that and I don't want to seem as if everything's doom and gloom but you work very hard and we have to still try and be positive collectively, as a group, but the desire was a lot greater to win the game from Dagenham & Redbridge than ourselves."

Read our match report from Ebbsfleet's 1-0 defeat at home to Dagenham & Redbridge

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