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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler admits Whites might benefit from some new faces

Andy Hessenthaler admits it won’t just be the players looking over their shoulder if Dover don’t improve their form fast.

Athletic’s 2-0 defeat against Boreham Wood on Saturday was their seventh at Crabble already this season and extended their winless run in all competitions to three.

That spell comes after a five-match unbeaten sequence and boss Dover boss Hessenthaler admits it’s that inconsistency which is undermining their play-off push.

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

He also revealed that it’s left him questioning whether some of the players he’s brought in are good enough to turn the situation around.

Hessenthaler said: “We’re so inconsistent at the moment that we’ll end up, if we’re not careful, looking down rather than up.

“It’s hard for a manager and the coaching staff to understand it because it’s the same set of players.

“We need to shake it up, we need to look at the squad.

“Is the squad going to be good enough to push on now? Do we need to freshen it up? Do we need to perhaps speak to (the existing) players, and maybe they’re not for us.

“It’s pretty much as brutal as that because we’ve got to do so much better.

“Yes, we’ve got to look at things and that includes me.

“I brought the squad in, so I’ll always look at that. If we serve up that (type of performance) I’m sure I won’t be here for too much longer.”

Whites have been as high as fourth in the National League this season but now lie 15th, and are as close to the relegation zone as they are the play-offs – a fact not lost on the boss.

He said: “We’re not going to get too panicky because this time last year we didn’t have any type of points but the more it goes on, with that type of performance, we will get sucked into a relegation battle.

“We’ve certainly got to look at ourselves and the squad, what we’re doing, the shape.

“We’ve perhaps got to find a way that’s suitable to us. If we can do that, and maybe shake it up with a few fresh faces, then that might help us.”

With top scorer Inih Effiong still ruled out with a knee injury a striker remains Hessenthaler’s priority and he revealed he was close to completing a loan signing last week.

He explained: “We were close to getting a forward from a League club that we’d spoken to, but they picked up a couple of injuries and at this present time they won’t let him out.

“He would have been a decent one for us. I won’t name any names because it wouldn’t be fair to the club.

“We spoke about a lot of players but

the problem is no one’s going to let you have any of their players in this league – definitely not.

Dover's 2-0 defeat to Boreham Wood on Saturday was their seventh in the National League this season Picture: Alan Langley
Dover's 2-0 defeat to Boreham Wood on Saturday was their seventh in the National League this season Picture: Alan Langley

“Then you’re looking into the League or the leagues below. Strikers are very difficult to bring in.

“It showed against Boreham Wood. I know people have their opinions about Inih but we missed him.

“He’s just a presence up there. He makes it hard for defenders and he’s got 10 goals so we’ve missed him.”

Whites take a break from league action on Saturday when they travel to Kings Lynn in the FA Trophy first round.

The Norfolk side are three points clear at the top of National League North and last lost at home on October 31, 2018.

The result will be decided on the day, with extra time and then penalties used to determine a winner should the score be level after 90 minutes

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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