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Dover Athletic manager Chris Kinnear says Whites need to be sensible in games if they are to maintain Vanarama National League push

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Chris Kinnear says Dover need to be more streetwise if they are to see-out their impressive campaign by claiming a play-off spot.

The Whites boss admitted his side still show signs of naivety, despite being in their second term in the Vanarama National League and having been ensconced in the top-six since September.

Despite an accomplished display, Dover allowed a late 1-0 lead against title-chasing Cheltenham to slip to a 2-1 defeat in Sunday’s televised game and have now gone 12 games without a clean-sheet.

Chris Kinnear. Picture: Tony Flashman.
Chris Kinnear. Picture: Tony Flashman.

Kinnear revealed: “I watched it back, not the whole game, just the last four minutes. It was not to point fingers, we just want to make sure we don’t fall into those problems again.”

He added: “Every game we try and win, maybe a little bit naively. We do throw people forward and maybe that’s why we haven’t kept a clean sheet in so long –- we have got to be a bit more sensible.”

The Dover boss focused on the positives, adding: “We’re playing decent sides and we’re still in the play-off positions. We want to win, win, win but Cheltenham are looking to win the league. It’s easy to always see the negatives but it’s important to see the positives.

“You can either feel sorry for yourself or take confidence from the way you’ve played and I hope that’s what the lads do.”

Weather-permitting Kinnear backed his players to bounce back at Altrincham on Saturday (3pm).

On Tuesday night Altrincham climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 home win against Woking – who would have knocked Dover out of the play-off places with a point.

Kinnear admitted: “It was a funny one. They will be coming into our game now off the back of a win (having lost 5-0 at Grimsby on Saturday) but it kept Woking behind us so it works both ways.”

He added: “We’re doing OK really, seeing as how we were one of the favourites to be relegated. If we were to make the play-offs, ahead of all these big clubs we’re competing with, it would be an amazing achievement.”

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