Published: 07:45, 09 October 2019
| Updated: 08:03, 09 October 2019
Andy Hessenthaler described Dover's 4-0 defeat at Aldershot on Tuesday as embarrassing and unacceptable.
The Whites boss not only questioned his players' approach to the game but also their fitness on a night when Dover suffered just their second away defeat in eight National League matches this season.
Aldershot went into the contest with just one home win from seven starts, but won comfortably with goals from Shamir Mullings and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, in the first half, and Jack Powell, Alefe Santos, in the second.
The result saw Dover slip to 11th – they could have gone as high as fourth with a win – and boss Hessenthaler said: "It was embarrassing, simple as that and I apologise to the fans because that's not acceptable.
"As a manager you're scratching your head, everyone knows our record away from home, six wins from seven, and the shape was no different to what we've playing.
"The personnel was a little bit different what with Ricky (Modeste) being away (on international duty) and 'Riggy' (striker Steven Rigg) being injured so we had to make some changes, but as I say it's just not acceptable.
"You can't concede goals like we did and the first one's a joke.
"It's just one ball down the middle, headed back no challenge on him and the fella's just gone through and scored.
"We were just too deep and we didn't get any support to Inih (striker Inih Effiong) and that's not what we've done in the last seven away games, other than Boreham Wood (where they lost 3-1). What's the difference ?"
Hessenthaler felt his side lacked a bit of fight, particularly in the second half, and that his players were off the pace.
He added: "They (Aldershot) were quicker, sharper and they looked fitter.
"It was almost a case we're turning up, we're playing Aldershot who have only won one game at home, we can beat them, we've won six out of seven.
"It was almost that sort of mentality looking at the players and we just can't do that, it's not right.
"Maybe we're not fit enough, it's time to do some work, get on the training ground and do more fitness work.
"We keep trying to protect them with cool-downs because we've had a lot of games but maybe we're not fit enough and we need to look at that."
Ahead of the game Whites revealed the signing of young Italian attacker Roberto Ratti.
Hessenthaler said the player has been signed on a non-contract basis and could feature in the squad at Barrow on Saturday if his international clearance comes through in time.
He explained: "It's a no-brainer, he's trained with us, he's signed on a non contract.
"He's been an amateur in Italy and he's come over to England.
"I know the agent really well, he's a big agent in England. He said to get him in and have a look and that's what we've done.
"He's quite impressed us, he's off the shoulder, he'll go down the side of teams, and he mixes his game up quite well.
"He's only a young one, he's 20 years old, but you never know they sometimes pop up and grab you.
"We'll still be looking for another one (a striker), don't get me wrong but he's one that's worth getting in at this present time.
"He gives us another option up front and who knows he could be a gem."
More by this authorMark Stokes