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Dover Athletic defender Ejiro Okosieme ready to play his part in promotion push

By Josh Fordham

Ejiro Okosieme is hoping to stake a claim for a starting spot in the Dover team after coming on as a substitute against Leyton Orient on Saturday.

The 25-year-old replaced the injured Josh Passley after 56 minutes and helped his side to a 1-0 win at Crabble.

Okosieme has made just eight appearances this season – six from the substitutes’ bench – and is ready to play his part when called upon.

Ejiro Okosieme crosses the ball. Picture: Tony Flashman
Ejiro Okosieme crosses the ball. Picture: Tony Flashman

He said: “I had a period where I started a couple of games but then got injured myself. Now it’s about trying to get a place back in the team. It’s a good challenge and there’s a lot of competition in the team.

“The manager reiterates to us before every game that it’s a team game and we should all be prepared to fight for each other and to come on to do a job. All I can do is keep playing and training hard.”

Their win against Leyton Orient pushed Dover back into the play-off places and gave them their 15th clean sheet in the league this season.

With Whites’ game the only match in the National League to go ahead, it has put the pressure on other teams around them.

Okosieme said: “We just need to focus on ourselves at this point and take each game as it comes and as long as we do that, we will be fine and in the play-offs at the end of the season.

“The managers have been on to us recently about keeping clean sheets.

“We started the season well with one of the best defensive records in the league. We had a blip and the key was getting clean sheets and pushing on.

“We would like to be higher but the key now is the playoffs. Every game counts and we need to keep this run going and hopefully we will be there.”

The defender also thanked fans who turned up early to the game to help clear the pitch to make sure it went ahead.

He added: “It was unbelievable. We were all coming in from different areas ourselves so thanks to all the fans who came down because without them this game wouldn’t have been on.”

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