Impressed, proud and disappointed

Only the result mattered at the end of it all, said Dennis Kutrieb as his troops finally took their leave of the appreciative Fleet supporters in the East Stand, but in all other departments, his players did exactly what their manager asked of them in going toe-to-toe with their EFL opponents.

“It’s tough for me because I’m really disappointed,” the Fleet boss told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “It’s not like frustrated, it’s only disappointing because the boys worked so hard together as a team. Even after 88 minutes when we had the goalkeeper up and they had a counter-break, you could see eight or nine boys who are running back after Marts was sitting down on the floor [injured], everyone was back on track to defend together for the team.

“I’m so impressed with the boys and with the performance today but it doesn’t help because we’re out of the cup and we wanted to go through, we wanted to be in the hat for the next round. Now we need to get the boys up because they are disappointed too and we have I think nine games in five weeks.

“But what I can take out of the game is if the boys deliver the same performance levels and the same attitude, workrate and enthusiasm we saw on the pitch today in the league, then I don’t need to be worried. We will get them up again and then we will keep on going.”

Fleet began the match assuredly but perhaps lacked a little bit of composure at moments they would normally be more precise, the boss felt.

“In German I would know exactly the word which I’d use,” he said. “I don’t know the word in English but it was not nervousness, I think composure is not far away. In the last third or when we need to be precise, to make the right decision in the last moment, I think that we lacked a little bit there today.

“We had the first shot on target after 45 seconds, they didn’t touch the ball . We had another three v one situation where we should have created a big chance, it was well-defended but for me as a manager it’s a big chance. You normally need to score from there. Greg Cundle the same, he’s outstanding for us and on the other side Paxman as well so it was a great game from everyone but the only thing which matters is the result and we are out of the cup unfortunately.”

Greg Cundle waltzed through the O’s defence early on

Kutrieb also felt his side didn’t benefit from much luck, with even the Orient camp admitting to him after the 90 minutes that the home side got most of the 50/50 decisions in their favour.

“‘Unlucky’ is a word which I learned very early when I came here and I think that’s the best word for today,” he said. “We were on top of them at least for 80 minutes, after 80 minutes we were a little bit gone but that’s normal when you play against a League side. We had three key moments early in the game and I could feel like it’s not the same composure like we had in our last games. A League side can defend, they know what to do, you could see even late in the game they know how to time waste so that’s a tough one for me. It’s a one-nil so you’re always in the game, you can get something out of the game, but it’s football.

“I had the feeling during the 90 minutes they only wanted to defend and there was only one team playing. I don’t want to be disrespectful because they are the League side and are in the next round, they deserve to be in the next round because they had the one goal, we didn’t. After 80 minutes they started to pass the ball a little bit but that’s normal when the tank is is getting more and more empty. I’m really looking forward to the stats, it doesn’t help but I think everyone will see that there was only one team playing early in the game.”


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