Brown stays upbeat on Ebbsfleet play-off prospects

News Shopper: Steve Brown. Picture by Keith Gillard. Steve Brown. Picture by Keith Gillard.

Ebbsfleet United manager Steve Brown remains confident his side will qualify for the Conference South play-offs despite Monday’s 1-0 loss at Maidenhead United allowing other teams to close the gap.

The Fleet put in a flat Bank Holiday performance and were punished by Danny Green’s goal late in the first half.

The result, combined with others in the league, means sixth-placed Dover are just two points behind Fleet.

Brown’s side do still have a game in hand over their Kent rivals, but the manager is happy with the fact qualification is still in his team’s hands.

He said: “I’ve been asked over the past few weeks about how I feel and the fact of the matter is I’m much happier we’re in a position where teams are having to chase us and games are running out than we’re having to chase them.

“The results have gone for us today.

“It was a must-win game for Dover today and they’ve drawn to Whitehawk, which has let us off the hook in terms of our result.

“But we are the team holding that points advantage, so we could afford this slip up.”

Brown added: “We’ve always had our noses in front and we’ve always been in a position of strength in terms of what we have to do as it’s always been in our hands.

“It still very much is in our hands.

“We’ve got Concord on Thursday, Dorchester at home on Saturday and we need one win to secure the play-offs and there’s not one person in that dressing room who doesn’t think we’re going to do that.”

Brown revealed although he was disappointed with the Maidenhead display, he felt the amount of chances his side are creating at least remains a positive.

He said: “This is a difficult place to come with the pitch and the slope, and they obviously play here every other week so they’re more accustomed to the conditions than we are.

“I didn’t think it was a pretty game.

“If you look at the amount of saves their keeper has had to make, and the fact we also hit the post, we do seem to create a lot of clear cut chances.

“It was the same against Eastbourne on Friday, but of course the difference is we were 1-0 up.

“We need to be more clinical, as we’ve gone to Sutton, done the same thing and lost 3-1 and then lost 1-0 today.

“I suppose the only positive really is that we are creating chances, so it’s better than sitting here having lost 1-0 without having seen their keeper make any saves.

“If we keep playing, keep creating chances and making opportunities, at some point we’ll have a game where we score three or four.

“It’s a disappointing result and in the way that I feel, if we’d have got our noses in front, it would have been a different game to watch.”

Brown added: “I just thought it was a flat performance.

“When you look at the performance on Friday against Eastbourne, where we were excellent, and then look at today, it wasn’t the same level of performance.

“That leaves me scratching my head a little bit because if you look at our fitness and athleticism levels, we have a good bunch.

“What I saw today was a side that were perhaps waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen, whereas on Friday we made things happen.

“It was a poor time to give a goal away and it was a poor goal to concede with a lapse in concentration and a poor bit of defending.

“It was one of those games – and I say this quite often – that if you get your noses in front, then it becomes a completely different outcome in terms of what Maidenhead have to do.”

“It’s disappointing but we’ve got two games to go and we need one win to secure our play-off spot and we remain positive that we’re going to do that.”

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