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Tight-knit Fleet show resilience

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Resilience and togetherness is helping push the Fleet nearer the play-off positions said Garry Hill following another three points and yet another clean sheet at the Kuflink Stadium this afternoon.

“We got stronger in the last 20,” Hill told BBC Radio Kent’s Matt Cole. “We were definitely the stronger team. We’re showing a resilience and a togetherness. A lot’s gone on one month to the day we’ve been here now and in that time things can start very good or they can stutter a little bit. But they have gone well.”

As against Aldershot last week, Fleet were solid in the first-half but needed an extra gear in the second, though Barnet made it much more difficult for Hill’s side.

“Conditions were tricky for both sides and I think we both cancelled each other out, [there wasn’t] much between the two sides in the first 45 minutes,” he said. “The start of the second half, we would have to raise our game and they had the ideal chance one on one with Nathan Ashmore. It was a great save and players got round it to clear lines and the warning signs were there. We made a change early on, not because Michael Cheek’s having a bad day but sometimes we need to freshen it up and we thought the time was right to get Cody McDonald involved even though he’s very short of minutes. He made a big impact straight away. Another day he could have walked away with two or three goals and he’ll probably be bit frustrated. It was the old Kedwell-McDonald setup and chance and he’s missed the target. That was a big chance to put us in front.

” But it’s a great goal. You make substitutions, sometimes it happens for you, sometimes it doesn’t. Bagasan Graham has had a couple of touches, put a great ball into the box and it’s sat up and that’s Danny Kedwell’s trade.”

Now five points off seventh place, the late win for the Fleet – coming before a week off for FA Trophy action – was a crucial moment in the season, Hill believes.

“It’s a big result for us and was always going to be a very tough game,” Hill said. “Barnet are a very strong outfit so we knew it would be tough and they’re a team with a certain amount of confidence at the moment in respect of getting to the Third Round of the FA Cup. John Still’s got a very good squad of players, he’s a very experienced manager, the best proven manager in the National League ever.

“We’ve got Dagenham at home next. We can put the League matches to one side until the 22nd but i;’s another big game next week. We want a run in the Trophy, we know it’s going to be tough. We’ll concentrate on that. Every game we go into we have to apply ourselves properly and be professional.”

And the Fleet boss believes that despite its smaller composition, his squad remains competitive with the ability to change things around even with the lighter personnel.

“We’ve reduced things but it’s not made us weaker,” he said. “We’ve got a skipper in Dave Winfield who’s a model pro on the pitch and off who hasn’t been involved the last two games and we can change things around. Even though we might not have the biggest squad, we’ve got a very competitive [one]. I’m pleased to say the players are battling for their places, competition in the squad is very healthy. We were sitting 16th and 11 points off the play-offs, we’ve put a little run together and we’re at an important stage of the season. We can’t get carried away by that, we’ve got to keep working hard. Seeing the reaction of the supporters, they want to see a team digging in and rolling their sleeves up and battle and give everything for the cause.”

Listen below.

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