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Dover Athletic manager Chris Kinnear says his players have the confidence to get a result in FA Cup clash at Cheltenham Town


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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear and his players have no fear of playing Cheltenham Town in Sunday’s FA Cup second round.

Not even playing the tie at the League 2 side’s home ground troubles Kinnear.

He said: “They (Cheltenham) are desperate to have a decent run – they need the money. The pressure is on them to perform.

“We’ve just got to make sure we focus on our own game and apply ourselves like we know we can.

“And besides, they (Cheltenham) are not as big as some of the clubs we play in the Vanarama Conference nowadays like Bristol Rovers, Grimsby and Torquay.

“We’ve played well against those teams and got results, so there is no reason why we can’t do the same against Cheltenham.

“We know we can match anyone. We have the confidence and the belief to do it – now we’ve got to let our football do the talking.”

Dover captain Connor Essam (29) and his players celebrate after his goal against Torquay United in the Vanarama Conference clash at Crabble on Tuesday. Picture: Matt Bristow
Dover captain Connor Essam (29) and his players celebrate after his goal against Torquay United in the Vanarama Conference clash at Crabble on Tuesday. Picture: Matt Bristow

He added: “Cheltenham have been struggling of late and that cost the manager his job. They appointed a new one (Paul Buckle) last week and that’s a move which can go two ways.

“The players can respond to his style of play straight away or they can struggle and end up running after the ball. But I am not really worried about them. I am only thinking about us.”

There is no question about what the occasion means to Kinnear. He said: “This is the FA Cup we are talking about – the greatest competition in the world – a competition where dreams are made and broken. There’s nothing like playing in the FA Cup.”

Kinnear looks set to make a couple of changes to his line-up for the clash. Midfielder Solomon Taiwo’s loan spell ended after Tuesday’s league clash with Torquay and he’s gone back to Luton Town.

That means Callum Davies, signed on loan from Gills last week, is likely to take Taiwo’s place.

Sean Francis is also struggling with a groin strain he picked up in the win at Gateshead last Saturday and if he fails a late fitness test, Sean Raggett could replace him.

The FA Cup third round draw will be made live on BBC 2 at 7pm on Monday.

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