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Dover Athletic winger Ricky Modeste on Torquay home defeat and squad rotation under Andy Hessenthaler

Ricky Modeste admitted Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Torquay was a bit of a reality check for Dover after their encouraging start to the season.

Whites had won three of their opening four National League games but slipped from fourth to seventh after the surprise loss to the Gulls, who had been winless in three.

Modeste, who impressed after coming on as a 50th minute replacement for Bobby-Joe Taylor, said: "We'd won three out of the last four games but I think the way we went into it we weren't really on the front foot and pressing how we have been, but we have to take it on the chin.

Dover's Ricky Modeste is held up by Torquay defender Jean Yves Koue Niate on Saturday Picture: Alan Langley
Dover's Ricky Modeste is held up by Torquay defender Jean Yves Koue Niate on Saturday Picture: Alan Langley

"It's a bit of a bump back to reality and obviously we've got to put it right on Saturday (when they travel to Sutton).

"You get out of games what you put in, and in matches where we've been behind and come back to win it's because we've worked harder and not given up, but it just seemed like they wanted it a little bit more than us, but we can't let our heads go down we've got to regroup.

"It's only one game we've lost and it's still very early in the season."

Boss Andy Hessenthaler's early season rotation policy means Modeste has only started twice, but the 31-year-old winger – who scored off the bench against Wrexham – said the players were made aware of the situation.

He explained: "To be fair he (Hessenthaler) gives you the heads up. He did say that while we've got nine games in the first month he is going to be rotating it (the squad).

"As a player I always want to be playing and the last few games I thought I've played well but if the decision is to rotate it then we've got good enough quality in the whole squad to be able to pick out a result.

"Everyone's going to be disheartened if they're not starting, we're all here to play but we're grown men, we have to take it on the chin.

"If you come off the bench you've got to try to make an impact.

"We can't blame it on the gaffer because he's been spot on with the substitutions and the rotations as you saw when we (he and Nassim L'Ghoul) came on against Wrexham and we managed to get the win."

Dagenham-born Modeste is in his second spell at Crabble and the Grenada international admits things are a lot different than they were playing under Chris Kinnear.

He admitted: "It's changed a lot, being full time, and a different gaffer. His philosophy is to press high, and try to get on the ball and pass it. It's not so much of a long ball regime as it was before and the players who have been brought in have all bought into it."

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