Fleet fans were treated to some more excellent football at the Kuflink Stadium yesterday and manager Dennis Kutrieb was pleased with the eye-catching nature of that – but also by the graft and tireless work of his team that underpins the more skilful aspects of their game.
“That [level] is what we ask from the boys every week,” Kutrieb told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “It’s getting a little bit better and a little bit easier, especially at home with the fantastic fans behind us. Everyone is pushing the boys so hard and they want to fight for the club, they want to fight for for the fans.
“It’s really lovely to see how they wake up more and more; they have a good spirit and they really work hard. I think sometimes last season we missed a little bit of the hard work, we only wanted to do the nice work – and now we are able to do the hard work as well. We’ve adapted more and I’m very pleased we didn’t concede today because that’s what we deserved. We worked so hard in every position, even our pressing in front was so sharp and tenacious.”
The win and the clean sheet were double bonuses for the Fleet boss, but he was also pleased to see a goal worked from a set piece, an area he has admitted in the past he would like to see more routes opportunities from.
“That is definitely one of the things where we really try to get better and try to improve because I’m not happy,” he said. “But you can’t work on everything at the same time – there are a [few] more important things you need to work on first and then you can go back to the more detailed work. We do the detailed work now because when you see us one year ago and you see us now, it’s a big difference. That’s a process and it’s progress as well and that’s what you need.
“I never would like to see my team at the same level, I always want to see that they improve, that they get better and of course set pieces is one thing where we can get better. Last week we were good there as well, we had one or two good chances so we’re getting there but it takes a little bit of time and today was a really good delivery, a great header from Solly and… the perfect time to score. It was a really crucial goal and then in the second half I was pleased to see that we didn’t only defend, but [when we did] we were able to defend as a team.”
And if the second goal came at the right time, the first came with a touch of elegance, Jack Paxman’s deft chip to take out two defenders for Rakish Bingham to run in behind and convert.
“We’d won two other balls in behind before which were very good so we could have scored there as well,” said Kutrieb. “We know Paxman is an outstanding player, he works so hard for the team and even today it was not only the [one] pass. You see sometimes players only play the one pass or score the one goal and then you don’t see them in the picture anymore, but his work rate is outstanding. That needs to be the basics on a daily basis, that’s what we need from every player, not only from him, but I was really happy for him because he was out for a few weeks and now today he had a fantastic assist.
“It was a tough game, a tough opponent, we knew from a few weeks before,” added the Fleet manager. “We’re very familiar because we played them for the fourth time in a short time. But we had a slightly different gameplan and it worked very well for us, especially in the first half. On both wings we were outstanding and could have scored three, four or five more goals.”
The fans certainly warmed to the performance and Kutrieb was thankful to be back in front of the home support after a five-game period on the road… which naturally leads him towards wanting a home tie in this afternoon’s draw.
“I love to be here [at home],” he said. “It’s such a nice stadium with our fans and the atmosphere is really outstanding. They are behind the team even when we create chances and don’t take them. [When] we miss chances, they clap the boys and that’s what we need. We don’t need moaning at the boys when they don’t score because they don’t do it on purpose. What they need is exactly what they get from the fans, they motivate them and they push them.
“There’s a good bond between the fans and the players, that’s what it has to be. There are so many clubs where the fans are a little bit different, they are always unhappy, but I can’t see it with our fans. I notice it and I really appreciate it but I don’t take it for granted.
“I would love to get a home draw as well now it’s the first proper round but I don’t have any wish so whatever comes comes. Everybody who knows me knows I want to win every game and it doesn’t matter who we play so we will see. We can lean back now and see what is in the draw for us and we’re looking forward to it.”