After Ebbsfleet suffered a disappointing 2-1 away defeat to Sutton United, manager Jamie Day said it was time for expectations surrounding his side to be more realistic.

Day has revolutionised The Fleet’s squad in the past two weeks, signing 10 players and letting seven leave, which led some to declare them as favourites for the Conference South title, despite being 13 points off leaders Boreham Wood.

A nightmare start to Saturday’s defeat, in which they were 2-0 down within 10 minutes, has tempered expectations. Day admitted that, although he was satisfied with his side’s overall performance, the transfer activity may have given rise to some unrealistic ideas.

“I thought the performance wasn’t too bad,” he said.

“I thought the effort and attitude was good, apart from the first 15 minutes where we didn’t defend well enough from wide play and conceded two sloppy goals.

“Apart from that I thought we played really well but didn’t take our chances at the right time.

“I’m obviously disappointed but I’m glad to get this week out of the way now and concentrate on the squad of players we’ve bought in from now until the end of the season.

“Sutton raised their game but we’re going to have to expect that.

“If they played like they did today every week then they wouldn’t be third from bottom."

He added: “That’s where we’re at and we know that, so I think if people think we’re automatically going to go on and win every game between now and the end of the season, it’s unrealistic.

“My job is to get the boys into the play-offs – there’s 48 points to get and we’ll try and get as many as we can, but it’s not going to be an easy task.”

Day also revealed that he may have to work on some of the new signings’ match fitness, as many of them have not been playing 90 minutes of football on a regular basis for a while.

He said: “You look at Kelvin (Langmead) and Fishy (Matt Fish) who’ve both come in today and they haven’t played 90 minutes for a while, so it’s good that they’ve got that under their belt.

“Adam Cunnington came on at half-time and he hadn’t played for two or three weeks.

“Obviously, the boys we’ve bought in weren’t starters at their clubs, so that’s why they’ve been made available.

“We’ve got two weeks to have six really good sessions and we’ve got the Trophy game to get another 90 minutes under our belt.

“The main aim for us is win as many of the 16 league games left as we can.

“The fitter we can get everyone and the more game time everyone can get is only going to help us.”

The Fleet next travel to Braintree for an FA Trophy Round of 16 game.

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