*BS*Chris Kinnear tells doverathletic.com that his team go into tomorrow’s play-off semi final 1st leg at Eastleigh “looking forward to it” but aware of the tough matches ahead.*BF*
Silverlake Stadium is the venue for the first leg on Tuesday evening, with Crabble hosting the return leg on Saturday at 3pm.
“Everyone is looking forward to it”, stated an optimistic Kinnear. “Before the Bromley game I could tell the players were up for it. I know they will give 100%. They are resilient.”
Dover swept aside Bromley 4-0 on Saturday. Harry Ottaway, Moses Ademola, Daryl McMahon and Billy Bricknell all scored, with Ademola producing a delightful long range effort to open his account for the club. “He needed that”, Kinnear said of his winger-cum-forward. “It was an amazing goal and you could see the whole team were pleased for him.”
Dover have already completed a league double over their forthcoming opponents, winning 3-1 away in September and 2-0 at Crabble three months later, but the Dover boss is under no illusion of the task ahead.
“Eastleigh are a good team and have invested heavily and since those games, they have appointed a new manager and brought in new players, so it will be different.
“Kevin Raine has scouted them and I trust what he has to say. I’m not sure what players will start on Tuesday but based on Kevin’s recommendations, myself and Jake will be picking a team that we think will be able to win the game.”
Daryl McMahon and Moses Ademola signed from Eastleigh earlier in the season, whilst former Crabble favourites Glen Southam and Ross Flitney will feature for Eastleigh to add spice to what will no doubt be a tight affair.
Should the tie still be level after both games, the penalties may be needed. Chris said: “We will try to prepare for every eventuality and we will probably practice penalties on Thursday in training.”
Kinnear is clearly excited about the tie. This will be his first time managing a team in the play-offs, as he cheekily stated, “My teams normally win the league.”
He added: “It does not matter who is home or away first but I am pleased we are playing at home on Saturday. What with it being a bank holiday as well, there is more opportunity for fans to come and a bumper crowd to support Dover.”
Should Dover come through and reach the final, Kinnear would like a home tie: “All the teams in the play offs are tough but I would love the final to be at Crabble for the fans. They have been brilliant and always been behind the team, even when we lost to Basingstoke. We would not have got to third place without them.”