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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler predicts other teams will be dragged into National League relegation dogfight


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Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler believes they can bring other teams into the relegation dogfight.

Whites are eight points from safety in the National League but there are a number of sides in the bottom half of the table who might end up looking nervously over their shoulder in the weeks ahead.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Alan Langley
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Alan Langley

“We need to get a bit of consistency if we can,” said Hessenthaler. “Hopefully we can get a run of games played and put some pressure on the teams above us.

“I still think we can drag more teams into it, there’s always a team that has a bad run and drops down. Hopefully we’ve had our bad run now and we’re going to go on a good one.”

Whites saw their National League trip to Wealdstone called off for the third time in as many months on Tuesday due to the hosts being in FA Trophy action.

It was the 12th match Dover have had postponed this season, the vast majority due to Covid.

They were set to go 10 days without another league game again as they were scheduled to play Macclesfield in the original fixture list this weekend.

But the National League have moved quickly to bring forward the re-arranged home clash with Solihull Moors to this Saturday to avoid a blank date in the calendar.

Moors were due to visit on Tuesday, February 2 but they were without a fixture at the weekend after scheduled opponents Yeovil were unable to play due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Whites are then at home to Barnet – the team directly above them in the table – this Tuesday before a trip to Yeovil, who are in the bottom five, on January 30.

Reflecting on the Wealdstone postponement - and speaking before the Solihull game was arranged - Hessenthaler said: “It’s fallen at the wrong time for us as we were due to play Macclesfield this Saturday. It’s another 10-day break and then we’ve got a real ‘cup final’ against Barnet.

“Nothing surprises me but at least we’ll have a full week of training. We had five out still at the weekend but two came back into training at the start of this week and we might have two or three back at the end of the week. They would have been out for this Saturday but at least it’s almost a clean bill of health now.

“They are all big games now, we’re not silly, we’ve all seen the league table. We needed to get something at Wrexham and we haven’t done that. We need to get the away form up and running and keep picking up points at home.

“It’s a big game for Barnet and us but at the same time we’ve only played 13 league games so it’s still early days – it won’t define the season whatever happens against Barnet.”

Ade Azeez picked up a calf injury at Wrexham but he should recover in time to face Solihull while Josh Passley remains suspended after his red card against Dagenham.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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