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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler wants to bring in defender on loan ahead of National League game at Eastleigh

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Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler is trying to strengthen his squad ahead of Tuesday night's trip to Eastleigh.

Whites could be without five first-teamers for the National League clash at Hessenthaler's former club.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler wants to bring in a defender on loan. Picture: Andy Jones (51128297)
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler wants to bring in a defender on loan. Picture: Andy Jones (51128297)

Travis Gregory (ankle) will be assessed at training on Monday evening but TJ Bramble is rated 50/50 after coming off against Chesterfield last weekend and Ryan Hanson took another blow to his knee.

Will Moses broke a metatarsal in training last Thursday while player-coach Reda Johnson is short of fitness after being rushed in for the season opener at Maidenhead.

With four games in less than two weeks, Hessenthaler is keen to bring in a player on loan to bolster his squad.

"That's going to be our problem, especially when we've got a real period of games," said the Dover boss.

"We've got four matches in 11 days. I had a conversation with the chairman and we're trying to do something to bring a centre-half in.

"We've only got two fit centre-halves at the moment and with Ryan Hanson who can also slot in there struggling we could be caught short.

"It's not over-training for sure, it can go against us that we're not training enough and then compete with sides who train every day. We're going to pick up injuries but what else can we do? We just need a bit of luck."

Hessenthaler is hoping his team can build on their excellent display against Chesterfield, one of the favourites for the title.

Whites more than held their own at Crabble and could have easily picked up three points in a keenly-contested encounter.

"There's a tinge of disappointment that we didn't get the three points, but the performance was terrific," reflected Hessenthaler.

"We did a bit of work on Thursday in training on their shape and the boys got it right. We studied them quite hard and how they get into positions but our boys got it spot-on and we got a clean sheet.

"People will say they were complacent but I don't think they were. When people say that I think it's taking away from what we did.

"They treated us with respect, we had a chance with a penalty decision that the referee missed on the day but that's the luck that you need to go for you.

"At Altrincham the performance was good and we carried that on, it shows that we are clicking as a team now. Unfortunately for us we can't afford too many bad days because of the deficit.

"We've got to play to our maximum and get results as we need to accumulate points as quickly as we can.

"We've got an honest bunch and they worked their socks off, that's the first thing we need to do. We had all of that but we're also a decent team and can play as well. It's not a win but it's a clean sheet.

"But that's over now, we've set the standard and we've got to produce that level as much as we can."

The midweek clash sees Hessenthaler return to a club he managed for a year before returning to Crabble in October 2018.

Eastleigh are yet to register a win this term under boss Ben Strevens and the Dover boss hopes their slow start continues for at least another game.

"Eastleigh is a great club with great people down there," said Hessenthaler. "Richard Hill took me to the club having worked with together at Gillingham and he's back there now as director of football.

"It will be nice to see him and what a proper guy their manager is. He was my assistant and is a very grounded lad.

"I first came across Ben when I was at the end of my playing career with Barnet and he was there. He still calls me gaffer now but he is a manager in his own right and I'm pleased for him.

"They are like us in the respect that they lost about 10 players at the end of last season and have signed 10 new ones. They've got off to a slow start but once they get going I'm sure they will go a run, hopefully it will be after we've played them."

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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