Published: 06:00, 17 October 2019
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler is taking nothing for granted as his side prepare to face lower-league opposition in the FA Cup this weekend.
Whites travel to face National League South side Weymouth, who are sixth in the league and unbeaten in their last eight games after five wins and three draws across all competitions.
Entering the contest as favourites promises to be a test of both Dover’s quality and mentality, insists Hessenthaler.
He said: “It’s not going to be an easy game, we had them watched on Saturday and they drew at Dulwich.
“They’re going very well in their league and they’ve got a lot of ex-league players, a lot of them played in the league and a lot of them have been at Bournemouth. They’re going to be a strong outfit.
“It’s FA Cup day, everything goes out the window.
“It’s a great competition and the best around as far as I’m concerned. I’m one of the fortunate ones who’s got to a quarter-final and had some decent runs in the FA Cup, but I’ve also had some bad games in it.
“It’s a great day and it should be a good crowd.
“We’ve got to pick a team that is mentally strong enough to go and deal with being the team in the league above, we’ve got to be able to handle that situation so it’s a tough game but it’s one we look forward to.”
Dover are still waiting on the availability of recent signing Roberto Ratti, who is still waiting for international clearance.
Ricky Modeste is meanwhile back in contention after returning from international duty with Grenada.
Hessenthaler added: “We still haven’t had clearance on Roberto, unfortunately, sometimes the international clearance takes longer than you’d like.
“We’re hoping that’s the case and that he can be involved but we’ll see.
“Ricky will be back so that will give us some more attacking options.
“He’s been one of our more consistent performers so far this season.
“We don’t like to lose him but it’s one of those things, he wants to play for his country and we respect his wishes.”
While keen to hand 20-year-old Ratti a chance to impress, Dover remain on the lookout for attacking reinforcements in a bid to support seven-goal top scorer Inih Effiong.
Summer signing Steven Rigg has scored just once for the club this season, while Anthony Jeffrey is still working his way back to full fitness following his return to the club.
“We’re definitely still looking for another forward,” said Hessenthaler.
“Every team is looking for strikers. It’s not easy.
“You can’t just pick a Stefan Payne, Adam Birchall or the Frannie Collins of this world off a tree, they’re the kind of strikers Dover have had over the years.
“They aren’t easy to find but we’ll keep looking. Hopefully one will pop up that can keep us going forward.”
Dover continued their preparations for Saturday with a behind-closed-doors friendly against a young Gillingham XI at Priestfield on Monday.
More by this authorCameron Hogwood