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Interim head coach Danny Searle says he’d love to become Ebbsfleet manager permanently after 0-0 draw with Oldham Athletic

Interim head coach Danny Searle wants the Ebbsfleet job permanently.

Searle did his chances no harm after steering a much-improved Fleet side to a point against play-off chasing Oldham on Saturday.

Interim head coach Danny Searle guided Ebbsfleet to a home draw with Oldham on Saturday. Picture: Dave Plumb/EUFC
Interim head coach Danny Searle guided Ebbsfleet to a home draw with Oldham on Saturday. Picture: Dave Plumb/EUFC

Ebbsfleet remain in the National League relegation zone but whatever Searle did with the players in the short time he’s had to work with them seemed to have the desired effect.

There was a greater energy and forward-thinking approach to the Fleet, and that lifted the mood around Stonebridge Road despite the club’s current predicament. If this was the first game of his audition for the job, then Searle did his chances no harm at all.

“I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’d love to manage this side,” said former Braintree and Aldershot boss Searle.

“I know a few of the players as I’ve signed them at previous clubs and I know a lot of the lads as I’ve tried to sign them at previous clubs!

“It’s a great group and any manager, whether it’s me or somebody else, that gets hold of this group is inheriting a really good bunch of lads.

“They’re good people, they’ve got a lot of players here that you’ve got to manage and they’ve been fantastic since I’ve walked through the door.

“I agreed to do it on an interim basis and I will help the club as much as I can for as long as I can. But I never made any bones about the fact that if the job is there to be taken, then I’d take it.”

Whoever gets the nod to steer the Fleet to calmer waters certainly has their work cut out.

Having just taken three points from games against Hartlepool, Maidenhead and Oxford City, the next set of matches provide plenty of stern tests.

“It would have been nice if we had a run of games where we’re not playing Oldham and Chesterfield, I think we’ve got eight sides in the top half in the next 10 games,” smiled Searle.

“But how exciting is that? My return to English football was to come in live on TV at home to Oldham, yes please, I’ll take that!

“As a coach you want to see can the players implement what you’ve done, albeit in one and a half sessions, which I think they did.

“But we need to get the fans going, it’s not their job to get us going. I think the players did that and got the response they wanted from the fans, they were brilliant, especially second half.

“The bottom line is actions always speak louder than words. We’ve had a great 72 hours but that’s all it is. It’s a stepping stone and a block in the right direction. We’ve got to build on that.

“We go to Chesterfield next Saturday – if it is me – and that’s a real tough ask, But we go there with a bit of freedom and excitement and try to go toe-to-toe.”

Ebbsfleet’s attacking play had more purpose than of late, the side was clearly set up to try and win the game and the players seemed to have more freedom to express themselves.

But it was at the other end of the pitch where Searle was really impressed as his new charges kept a formidable Oldham frontline largely quiet throughout.

“They’ve got a phenomenal strike force, whether they all started or not,” noted Searle.

“They had players coming off the bench and you think he probably gets in most National League sides anyway, some into League 2 sides.

“They brought them on and we kept a clean sheet, and I can’t remember other than Mark Cousins’ save when he (James Norwood) was one-on-one, him having anything to do. The overall threat was from us and that’s a credit to the defending line.

Report: Ebbsfleet 0-0 Oldham

“If I’m honest Oldham go home feeling a bit lucky that they got the point that they did as we were definitely the better side, especially second half.

“We’ve got some frightening good technicians in the side. It’s about giving them the ball and giving them the freedom to be themselves.

“I thought with regards to our possession we controlled the game for large parts. We got our foothold in the game and once we got our foot on the ball and started playing, if I’m honest it looked like there was only one team that looked like a really good footballing side and I thought that was us.”

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