Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear prepared for a battle in the Blue Square Bet South play-off final against Salisbury City
Dover manager Chris Kinnear
Chris Kinnear believes Dover Athletic will need character as much as quality if they are to overcome Salisbury City in Sunday’s Blue Square Bet South final.
Whites showed admirable resolve to get past Eastleigh on penalties in Saturday’s play-off semi-final second leg, and Kinnear reckons they will need to show similar mental strength to emerge triumphant at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
Whites have been beaten just three times in 21 matches since Kinnear returned to Crabble and he says it is the squad’s togetherness that has got them this far.
He said: “It’s taken a while but everybody’s together. You always worry, someone comes in and there’s a bit of animosity but there’s not now. It’s our team now – we’re all in it together.
“When we lost here to Basingstoke (5-0) a lot of sides would have just crumbled and people would have started blaming each other but that (defeat) probably strengthened us.
“You’re going to get hiccups – we’ve not had many – but this is where mentally you’ve got to be strong and we’ve been mentally very strong.”
Whites failed to beat Salisbury in either of their meetings during the regular season, although in the most recent, in Wiltshire last month, they were only denied by a last-minute equaliser.
Kinnear said: “We’ve got one more game to go and I’m looking forward to it.
“We went there before and should have got a result. They scored in the 90th minute and it ended up 1-1.
“Before they scored we had two or three one-on-ones with the keeper but they’re a good side, but you never know what these lads can achieve because it’s all clicked for them at the right time.”
Kinnear reported that several players were leg weary after Saturday’s gruelling tie with Eastleigh but top scorer Ben May remains the only real worry, with a hamstring injury.
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