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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear targets an FA Cup upset against Premier League Crystal Palace at Crabble


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Dover could not have wished for a better time to play against Premier League Crystal Palace, according to manager Chris Kinnear.

And his side, unbeaten in their past 13 matches in all competitions after the 2-0 win in the Vanarama Conference clash at Welling on New Year’s Day, are ready to prove that in the FA Cup third round tie at a sold-out Crabble on Sunday (kick-off, 1pm).

Not even Alan Pardew’s likely appointment as the Eagles’ new manager this week was going to change that opinion.

Kinnear said: “Of course they (Palace) should beat us – they play four leagues above us.

Dover could not have wished for a better time to play against Crystal Palace according to boss Chris Kinnear.
Dover could not have wished for a better time to play against Crystal Palace according to boss Chris Kinnear.

“But they have won just once in their past 14 games and have lost seven in the process. That cost the manager (Neil Warnock) his job.

“They might have a new manager by the time they arrive at Crabble but he won’t have had much time to make his mark by then.

“It takes time for anyone new joining a club, whether it be a player or manager, to bed in.

“It’s a great time for us to play them. We are enjoying a fantastic unbeaten run, the confidence is high and we are playing at home. Why wouldn’t we feel we could win it?

“You can be sure that they (Palace) won’t be looking forward to making the trip – it’s come at the wrong time for them.

“Besides, the FA Cup has a history of producing shock results and I see no reason why we can’t create our own piece of it (history).

“We won’t be holding back – that’s not my style. We’ll be going all out to win, something we do in every game regardless of who we are playing against."

As for plotting the downfall of Palace, Kinnear said his preparation was no different to any other week.

He said: “I’ve just got to make sure we play the way we want to play.”

In team news, goalkeeper Mitch Walker returned to training on Tuesday after being out with an elbow injury since September and could feature on the seven-man bench on Sunday.

There has also been talk of Luton Town midfielder Solomon Taiwo returning to Whites for another loan spell in time to play.

But Kinnear said: “I don’t know what my line-up will be – everyone wants to play and rightly so.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how we come through the game at Welling first and then I will start to look at it.”

The FA Cup tie will be shown live on BT Sport.

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