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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler says his side must win one of next two matches in their battle against relegation from the National League


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Manager Andy Hessenthaler thinks Dover Athletic must win at least one of their next two fixtures.

Whites, bottom of the National League and 15 points from safety, have a massive week ahead in their survival battle.

Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones

They welcome second-bottom Aldershot to Crabble tonight (Tuesday) and host fellow strugglers Barnet this Saturday.

Hessenthaler will be desperately hoping for a positive response from his players who were hammered 6-0 at Grimsby last weekend.

Whites are still yet to score at home this term, which is another record which Hessenthaler hopes his team addresses soon.

“We have got to pick up at least four points - if not two wins,” Dover’s boss admitted.

“Away from home, we have been poor so far this season. We have been better at home, actually, but our only problem is we have not scored.

Dover Athletic midfielder Ryan Hanson remains sidelined with a knee injury. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover Athletic midfielder Ryan Hanson remains sidelined with a knee injury. Picture: Andy Jones

“We have got to bounce back and try and get back-to-back wins. But no game is easy in this division.”

Aldershot’s match at the weekend against big-spending Wrexham was abandoned in the second half due to a waterlogged pitch, with the Shots trailing 2-0.

Mark Molesley is in charge at Aldershot, having replaced Danny Searle at the helm following Searle's sacking last month.

Hessenthaler said: “On Saturday, their game was abandoned due to the weather. They have changed manager already this season and are looking to get on a run themselves, and it’ll be the same for Barnet when we play them this weekend.

“We have got to get at least one win but, hopefully, we can get two (from their two matches this week).

“Hopefully, that will give us the confidence to go on a run because we are nearly at double figures in terms of league games played now and we need to get on a run.”

Injury-hit Dover are unlikely to have anybody back for their match against Aldershot, although Hessenthaler hopes Millwall loanee Junior Tiensia may be back for their clash against Barnet.

But part-time Whites have bolstered their midfield ranks with Frenchman Yannis Drais coming off the bench during the loss against Grimsby to make his debut.

He came on with Hessenthaler's men already 5-0 down, with Grimsby adding a sixth after the restart. Luke Waterfall (2), Ryan Taylor (2), Will Bapaga and John McAtee were on target.

The 27-year-old has signed on a non-contract basis, and Hessenthaler said: “He has come in and is playing for nothing.

“He is just coming in to earn a deal. To me, it was a no-brainer.

“He is a player of decent pedigree, having played at Cardiff and Aldershot as well as in France. We put him on for the second half against Grimsby because we felt we needed another body in there and it definitely helped.”

Hessenthaler had previously hoped midfielder Ryan Hanson (knee) may be available this week but now says he does not think he will be available until they are due to be in FA Cup action, at home to Yate Town, on October 16.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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