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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler says Whites can't afford to go down

By Steve Tervet

Keeping Dover in the National League is Andy Hessenthaler’s priority after he returned to Crabble as manager this week.

Hessenthaler, 53, left Eastleigh to take charge of Whites for a second time following the sacking of Chris Kinnear on Friday.

He arrives with Dover one point off the bottom of the table, having won just one of their first 15 matches.

Andy Hessenthaler Picture: Barry Goodwin
Andy Hessenthaler Picture: Barry Goodwin

Hessenthaler has already implemented a switch to full-time training but admits time is not on his side.

He said: “We’ve got to find a way of winning games because we can’t afford to go down.

“We’ve got to stay up and that’s what we’ll be working on.

“I’ll have a way I want to play, my philosophy and hopefully the players will buy into that, along with the players I want to bring in and start winning matches.

“There’s not much time so we’ve got to find that winning mentality and do it pretty quick.”

Hessenthaler met his squad for the first time on Tuesday and has also been in talks with potential new signings.

He said: “It’s going to be a clean slate for everybody.

“I’m going to make my own judgment on players and the chairman has given me the license to freshen it up and bring some of my own players in over the next few weeks.

“I’d like to think I might be able to get one or two in by the weekend.”

Hessenthaler enjoyed huge success in his previous spell at Crabble, taking Dover from Ryman League, Division 1 South to the verge of the Conference in three seasons.

He said: “It’s been a tough year this year and it’s always difficult when you lose a manager, especially someone like Chris, who’s done such a fantastic job.

“But I’ve been asked to go back in there and I’m fully focused on what I’m doing.

“I know this league, I know the leagues above and I know the leagues below, so the club’s not getting a novice.

“I’ve got the experience along with my coaching staff, Darren Hare and Nicky Southall.

“It’s important we go in there and put our mark on it fairly quickly and climb the table.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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