Ebbsfleet manager Gary Hill insist his side will be relishing the visit of league leaders Leyton Orient on Saturday. Hill who has made a big impact since his arrival at Fleet sees his side sit top of the form table and insists the pressure will be on Orient. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “we go into the game with no pressure on us. We want to get into that top group and keep the run going but Orient will be feeling it. Their league form lately has been a little bit indifferent and they’ll be respecting us like we’re be respecting them”.
- Sit Ninth on 44 points
- Only lost two of their last 10 in all competitions – W6 D2 L2
- Only lost one of their last 13 league games – W7 D5 L1
- League Record – P29 W12 D8 L9 F43 A31
Ebbsfleet head into the clash on the back of a 3-3 draw with Chesterfield two weeks ago. Michael Cheek, Cody McDonald and Bagasan Graham put Fleet 3-0 ahead before second half goals from Tom Denton, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Will Evans drew Chesterfield level before Cheek had a late penalty saved.
Hill’s side had an enforced break last weekend after exiting the FA Trophy in December but the break came at the right time for Fleet according to Hill. Speaking to ebbsfleetunited.co.uk “we needed to clear our heads if that’s possible after a game like that. We’ve had a two week break, the players deserved it and needed it. Mentally and physically, they’ve gone through a great deal without any let up”.
- Kept ten league clean sheets – four at home
- Kept two in their last three games
- Kept five clean sheets in last ten games – conceding nine goals
- Kept five clean sheets in last seven home games
Ebbsfleet’s fortunes have changed since the arrival of Hill back in November and the former Woking boss has taken Fleet to within touching distance of the play-offs. Fleet sat 10 points from the playoffs when Hill arrived and their form has seen them set their sights on the top seven. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “it has been some turnaround, to be 17th in the league one minute, four points off the bottom four and now to be within two places of the top seven with just one defeat in ten games. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we’ve got something to look forward to”.
- No team has taken more points since Hill’s arrival than Ebbsfleet 21/30
- Only trailed in one of their last 13 matches – only 62 minutes
- Eight of their 12 league wins and four of their six home wins have been by at least two goals – including their last three wins
There will be a familiar face in the visiting dug out for Hill in Justin Edinburgh. The former Spurs defender was Hill’s assistant back in 2008 at Rushden & Diamonds and Hill highlights that both sides will have to be at the top of their game. Speaking to ebbsfleetunited.co.uk “he was a good lad, he’s done well since our time together. He knows me and he knows from his own knowledge and experience that he’s going to have a very hard game and they’re going to have to be at their best, same as our team”.
- Failed to score in six league games – four at home
- Scored in last four games – scoring 14
- Scored in eight of their last ten games
- Only failed to score in one of their last nine league games
- Scored in four of their last five home games
Unbeaten in their last four, Hill insists his side are ready to pit their wits against the league leaders in front of a large home crowd.. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “if we do our jobs on the day, we can give anybody a good game. If we put the hard work in and the home crowd get behind us, we’ve got the players who are a match for an team in league”. He added “All you can ask as a manager is that your players perform with no regrets. Let’s see how far we’ve come against a team who, without doubt, are the top team in the league”.
- Home League Record – P14 W6 D2 L6 F20 A15
- Won their last two home games and four of their last five in all competitions
- Won their last five home games and taken 16 points from last 18 available at Stonebridge Road
- Last league defeat – 6th October – Ebbsfleet 0-2 Harrogate
- One defeat in last eight – W5 D2 L1
With no cup distractions, the league will take sole priority for Fleet who are full of the confidence. Fleet have only picked up two points from nine games against the teams above them but Hill is hoping his sides fortunes can change at Stonebridge Road. Speaking to ebbsfleetunited.co.uk “look at the table, we’ve got the top five teams coming to Ebbsfleet and sixth to eighth in our next three away games. When you’re chasing and playing a little bit of catch up, I think it’s important to be playing teams around you. Winning these games closes the gap more quickly”.
- 24/43 league goals have been in first half (12/20 at home)
- 11 of their last 14 have been netted in first half
- Conceded 18/31 league goals in first half
- But six of their last eight have been in the second half
Dave Winfield is the only absentee for the visit of Orient. Striker Michael Cheek will be looking to add to his nine league goals while fellow striker Cody McDonald has three goals in his last two appearances against Orient.
Hill on his squad to ebbsfleetunited.co.uk “they’re all firing. It’s good healthy competition and that’s what we want even though small in numbers. Everyone’s involved now instead of a few players sitting on sidelines and not being part of things”.
Head to Head – Ebbsfleet 1, Draw 2, Leyton Orient
- Ebbsfleet unbeaten in all three meetings
- Both teams have scored in every meeting
- Last Two meetings have ended in draws
Last Time Out – 3-3 vs Chesterfield (05/01/2018)
Prediction – Ebbsfleet 1-1 Leyton Orient