Daryl McMahon presided over the Fleet’s win over his former club and declared himself delighted with the performance and the three points. The Ebbsfleet boss took his place in the new dugouts for the first time at The Kuflink Stadium and liked what he saw.
“I thought we could have been three or four up when you look at the chance on the counterattack in the first half and second-half. Coulson, Weston had a good chance as well, Cook’s got in a few times,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “Coulson again got in at the end there when he could have lifted it over the goalie but it ran away from him. We played very well. The lad Dayton, who I thought was outstanding tonight for Leyton Orient, is a very good player. [His goal], it’s a worldy to be fair. There’s not a lot you can say to Ash or the back four when someone hits it off his weaker foot from 25 yards to the side netting. I was right behind it, it was like an arrow. A great strike but we got three points and deserved them.”
McMahon thought Luke Coulson was his man of the match and praised the performance of Yado Mambo, too, but didn’t really want to concentrate on individuals in a complete team performance.
“You can’t single anyone out really,” he said. “Lots of players had their best game of the season tonight, on the telly against a big club, and we spoke before the game about maybe learning from last week. Being in the exact same situation [2-0 up], and that’s how you win a game of football. Orient didn’t really threaten us I didn’t feel until they got their goal and then you do get balls into the box and they can fall anywhere. But the lads defended them very well as well.
“Our shape was very good all night. Yado Mambo was excellent dealing with Harrold and Mooney who were playing League One or League Two last year. Correct me if I’m wrong, we maybe had eight players who played in the South last year and I’d imagine they didn’t have any players playing in our league last year. So the gulf between the teams in terms of that is big but the performance on the pitch from us tonight was excellent.”
Many supporters were surprised to see Bradley Bubb on the bench, but as McMahon told FleetOnline on Friday, the striker’s work ethic and dedication has forced his manager’s hand.
“He’s come back from his injury and he’s in better shape than I thought he would be,” McMahon explained. “He won’t like me saying this but when he joined the club he wasn’t in good shape but he’s managed his body and worked hard to keep himself in decent shape. So he’s come back way ahead of where I thought he’d be and he’s trained excellently. He’s a really big player for us and hopefully in the coming weeks he’ll get fitter and he’ll be able to affect the starting eleven.
“We agreed we’d send him on loan when we re-signed him in the summer but speaking to him last week I said I’m not going to, I don’t think I need to. He’s fit enough as it is, we’ll put friendlies on in the week. I think he can have an impact on the squad.”
And the Fleet boss had a word for his old club, who are struggling in 19th place and without a win since early September. But McMahon thinks they just need time to settle and will improve before the season is out.
“It’s a hard league and Orient are in a situation probably similar to us last season in the sense that every time you don’t win it’s a catastrophe and that isn’t fair either,” he said. “They’re a club that’s been in turmoil, it’s not their manager’s fault if they were being run badly or not signing the right players. Sometimes you just need time to take stock and settle in somewhere and kick on. It’s a great football club with great support, they’ve got some very good players and they’ll be alright I’m sure.”
Listen to the full interview below.