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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear looking forward to mixing it with possible Vanarama Conference champions Bristol Rovers

Dover may be out of contention for the play-offs now but boss Chris Kinnear’s side can still play a huge part in deciding who does go up, and who will do it as Vanarama Conference champions.

Whites, who are eighth following the 3-1 loss at Chester at the weekend, finish their season by playing second-placed Bristol Rovers at Crabble on Saturday (3pm) before making the trip to fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers a week later.

Rovers are just a point behind leaders Barnet and Kinnear said he was looking forward to playing a club who were only relegated from the Football League for the first time in 94 years last season.

He said: “They are a massive, massive club and they have a following to go with it. They will bring over 2,000 fans with them.

Dover manager Chris Kinnear
Dover manager Chris Kinnear

"It’s going to be like playing a cup tie and I am sure that the atmosphere will be electric because they are so close to possibly winning the league.

“Yes, it (the atmosphere) will feel strange with the visiting fans outnumbering ours – it will be like an away game but we’ve proved we can handle playing big away games this season.

“We drew 1-1 with Rovers back in October and the lads loved playing in front of that big crowd (6,162). It’s all part of our learning curve because it wasn’t all that long ago we were playing in front of 400-strong crowds.”

And Kinnear knows the visiting fans have plenty to be happy about ahead of the clash with their side unbeaten in six games, including winning their past three.

Kinnear said: “They are flying and they are banging in goals while doing it (they have scored 10 in three games and conceded just one). We know it’s going to be tough but that’s what playing in this league is all about. Playing against big teams like Bristol Rovers.

“Saying that, they know we’ll make it tough for them. Take it from me, we’ll be just as hungry as them to win.”

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