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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear keeps things in perspective ahead of FA Trophy showdown against Bath City


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Chris Kinnear has warned that Saturday’s FA Trophy quarter-final tie against Conference South side Bath City at Crabble will be no ‘gimme’ for his Dover Athletic side.

The boss is not taking the Somerset visitors lightly, despite watching Bath lose 2-1 in the league clash at Whitehawk on Tuesday.

Not even beating The Romans three times last season comes into the equation as far as Kinnear is concerned.

Dover – who have reached this stage for the only the second time in their history and the first time since 1998 – did the double in the league and also beat Bath in the FA Trophy.

If they overcome City, Kinnear’s side will then face a two-legged semi-final and have a Wembley final on March 29 well within their reach.

Although Kinnear said his players would love to play at Wembley, he was keeping it all in perspective.

He said: “You cannot afford to start thinking about what might be – that can hurt you.

“I ensure that we take each game as it comes, I know it’s an old cliché, but it’s so true in my book and always has been.

Dover manager Chris Kinnear Picture: Paul Amos
Dover manager Chris Kinnear Picture: Paul Amos

“We’ve got to focus on beating Bath first and that’s not going to be easy. They (Bath) showed how serious they are treating this game by resting nine players at Whitehawk.

“It’s not a gimme just because they play in a lower league. They’ve already knocked Bristol Rovers and Altrincham out to get this far and that shows how well they can play.

“We’ve got be on our game because if you’re not at your best you can get done.

“We beat them three times last season but that counts for nothing now as this is a whole new ball game, and one with so much at stake for both sides.

“Games can be so tense at this stage because you’re just one step away from the semi-finals.

“You are almost there but just can’t touch it yet.

“But we’ve got to make sure that we are focused on the job at hand before we can start thinking about what could be.”

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