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Dover Athletic goalkeeper Mitch Walker says a change in mindset has been key to the club's improved form

By Mark Stokes

Mitch Walker believes Dover's improved form is as much down to a change in mindset as anything else.

The 1-0 win at Maidstone on New Year's Day means Whites have lost just one of their last eight matches, a run which has lifted them to 18th in the National League having been in the bottom two when Andy Hessenthaler replaced Chris Kinnear as boss in October.

Walker admits the switch to full-time training has benefited the whole squad, but he also believes a fresh approach under Hessenthaler has been a vital factor.

Mitch Walker Picture: Tony Flashman
Mitch Walker Picture: Tony Flashman

The Whites No.1, who kept back-to-back clean sheets against Orient and Maidstone, said: "I've certainly enjoyed going full-time, it just allows us double the time we had before, working on the training pitch, working through anything we feel we need to, or working on the team we're playing.

"I think (there's) just a little bit of added confidence in the players, they've been given a little bit more of a free role in the sense that there's a lot more trust put on the players.

"If they want to take chances in certain areas, that's fine because we trust one another. I think that sort of helps breed confidence throughout the team."

Walker, 27 and now in his seventh season at Crabble, believes Whites are too good to go down and says he never lost confidence in the squad even after their poor start to the season.

He added: "Six weeks ago we were bottom, maybe four points off (safety) but I've been around this club, and the people who run it for a long time and I would have been very surprised if we'd have stayed at the bottom.

"We're doing well now but it's something I expect from the club and I expect from us as players.

"We've got a real good bunch here and I think sometimes it just takes a little bit of a change in mindset, a change of strategies.

"It's all positive, we've just got to make sure we don't get too carried away with the results of late and try to keep it going."

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