Fleet boss Jamie Day says there is still much to play for within the Ebbsfleet camp despite the ever-widening gap to fifth place. Ninth-placed Fleet take on sixth-placed Whitehawk tomorrow (3pm) and Day wants to see endeavour and effort from his squad.
“Fans know it and I know it that realistically we’re not going to overhaul the other teams,” the Fleet boss said. “But a lot of the players need to perform to earn a place for next season and I want to see out this season winning games. Luke Rooney’s been brought in to show us what he can do and I want to give the boys who have been out injured some time as well.
“Aiden Palmer should start on Friday, we’ll see how he reacts as Monday comes around sooner than I would like in his case, but we have Dean Pooley for cover too.”
And Day is not ruling out giving his promising Academy youngsters some minutes on pitch. “I need to get through two or three more games to see how the land lies – you never know if you win one or two, and other teams have a blip, you want to give yourselves every chance however unlikely it seems. But after that, I may consider some of the young lads, there’s some talent in there and they deserve it.”
Striker Adam Cunnington is another who refuses to rule out finishing the season in fifth, although he’s aware that there is a proverbial mountain to climb. In an interview for tomorrow’s matchday programme, the former Cambridge forward said, “Until it’s mathematically over, we’re still in with a chance, albeit a slim one and that’s the way I approach it. If we don’t make it then we need to regroup, try and finish the season on a bit of a high and get our tails up for next season.”
One player who may have made his final contribution this season is former Swansea City midfielder Mark Gower. “Mark is still training with us,” Day told FleetOnline. “On the ball he’s been fantastic but he’s not mobile enough, he knows that. At the time we brought him in it was just a short-term fix to provide cover for Dean Rance, who got back quicker than expected.
“But Mark has added valuable knowledge to the boys, plenty of advice, and he has Premier League experience, obviously, so it’s been beneficial having him on board and behind the scenes.”