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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler wants to wipe out minus points in first 10 games of National League season


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Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler wants to wipe out their points deficit in the first 10 games of the season.

Whites were docked 12 points and handed a £40,000 fine by the National League after failing to fulfil four fixtures in February. Dover's appeal to the FA failed and they will start the new campaign cast adrift at the foot of the table.

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler - his side will start the new season on minus 12 points. Picture: Andy Jones (48903209)
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler - his side will start the new season on minus 12 points. Picture: Andy Jones (48903209)

Hessenthaler will find out his fixture list for the new campaign on Wednesday lunchtime ahead of the August 21 start date, and has vowed not to panic at the start of the campaign.

"Everything has been said now, it's time to get on with things," stated Hessenthaler.

"We went through the appeal stage after we got our minus points and fine.

"I'm glad it's over, I thought we might get a fine and points deduction but reduced from what it was.

"I always had in my mind that we'd never get away scot-free, even though we had a strong case. I thought it might have been minus six but that's what's happened. It feels harsh but what can we do? The decision has been made now.

"Within the group, we've got to pick away at it, that's the best way to deal with it. The one thing we can't do is panic.

"We're desperate to get rid of it really quickly but sometimes you can't force things and we'll have to be patient and work hard.

"It would be nice to get rid of it in the first 10 games - that's the aim - and then we can start looking up, that's the plan for me.

"We won't be panicking if we haven't wiped it out in five or six games, that's going to be tough in this league plus we've got a new group of players and that might take time in itself."

Dover utilised the loan market last season and may look to do the same again this time around, despite reverting back to part-time status.

Hessenthaler added: "We can't afford to carry players. We're going to have challenges along the way, and we may have to delve into the loan market.

"The chairman has said this is the budget but if sponsorship and crowds come back then we might be able to dip in.

"I've had so many calls from league clubs about loan players and that's great - as much as we want their help, they know we can help them too.

"It's nice that they haven't been put off, not just by the minus 12, but by going part-time either. It means players can still train with us in the evening and then at their parent clubs on days when we're not training."

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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