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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler reveals the maths behind Whites' push for National League promotion

By Matthew Panting

Dover have been plotting their path to the National League play-offs from the first day of the campaign.

Boss Andy Hessenthaler has revealed that his players have got a points target – determined by maths rather than opponents – so they can ensure their season stays on track.

Whites went back above the line after Saturday’s 2-1 injury-time home win over Wrexham at Crabble.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Paul Amos
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Paul Amos

“We’ve put a graph up in the social room at the training ground and we were in there on Monday putting the line back up,” said Hessenthaler.

“We’ve got a line to work to which we believe will get us into the play-offs.

“It’s a good little tool for everybody to think right we’re under the line so we’ve got to get back on the line or above it.

“We might have gone above the line which is good.

“You’re looking at two points a game but 1.8 or 1.9 gets you in and around the play-offs. We’ve done a bit of work on that and set our targets.

“It’s something the boys can enjoy and if we’re off the line to get back on it.”

It’s nothing new for Hessenthaler. He did a similar trick at Gillingham more than a decade ago and is using all his experience to ensure his Dover squad focus only on their results.

“It’s a mathematical thing,” he added. “I did it at Gillingham as well over the years about where to get to, although in the Championship it was more about how much we need to stay in the division than getting in the play-offs!

“I think it’s a good tool for the players.

“It gives them an insight about where we feel we need to be and it’s great that they can go in their room and see the line is back to where it should be.

“Our expectation has to be to stay above the line.

“We’re in it to win it, I don’t talk about other teams and budgets. We know what our budget is, and we know what we’ve got to try to achieve.

“That’s our aim, let’s work on ourselves what other teams do doesn’t matter to me.

“We’ve got to work on what we’ve got.

“The chairman has been brilliant and we’ve been able to assemble a good squad of players within our budget and we’ll have a right go.”

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