CLIVE WALKER is resisting the temptation of signing new players this week – insisting: “If it’s not broke, do nowt.”
Whites missed out on signing Leigh Bremner from Cray last week. The prolific frontman opted to snub playing for Dover in favour of staying at the North Kent club.
With Dover winning four of their last five Ryman Premier matches, Clive does not want to meddle with the side too much – especially as a couple of poor results could end our slim chances of pulling off a great escape from relegation.
He said: “We’ve got a settled team and when you bring in a new player or two it can sometimes mess everything up.
“Although I might be able to bring in good quality players, it can take a few weeks for new lads to settle into the team – and we just cannot afford that at the moment. We’ve got to keep this run going – to stand any chance of staying up.
“We’ve simply got to keep winning and the side is doing that. And, as they say, if it’s not broke, do nowt.”
Whites have received a seven-day approach for another one of its players from a Conference South club. Walker hopes the player concerned will opt to stay but, as was the case with Dean Palmer and Paul Armstrong two weeks ago, he is powerless to prevent any move.
That illustrates why it is important for Dover to have its main squad players on contract.
Clive said: “It’s just not ideal at all. Players can leave at the drop of a hat and that just isn’t any good to the club. We need our players committed to playing for Dover Athletic, not moving for more money two or three months down the line.
“We’re not going to just hand out contracts though. We’ll only give them to good quality players who are 100 per cent focussed on getting Dover up the pyramid again. That’s what we need in order to reverse the club’s fortunes and whatever happen this season that’ll be our future policy.”
Saturday’s opponents, Chelmsford, are in a rich vein of form themseles. The Essex club, traditional old Southern League rivals of Whites, have lost just once in their last 13 league games.
But Whites have got to face table-topping Yeading and high-flying Eastleigh and Hampton and Richmond, not to mention making a tough looking trip to Leyton, in their remaining 10 games.
So this is another must-win match and Clive knows defeat cannot even be an option for his young side.
He said: “Chelmsford are a decent side. I know a bit about them and they’ve still got some good players there.
“We’ve just got to keep our run going although it’s going to be tough. We need a big crowd to turn up, create a noisy atmosphere and hopefully act like a 12th man for us. Make no mistake, this is going to be a tough match.”
Whites chairman Jim Parmenter would like to see a crowd breaking the 800-mark. The club’s form of five wins out of six in total, since Clive took over as manager, is impressive – and has suddenly given Dover hope of survival.
Jim said: “We’d like to see the town of Dover get behind us for this one. It’s vital for our survival chances that we win this game.
“Our supporters here really can make a difference for us at home games. No other side in this division gets gates like ours and the fans can be like having an extra man in your side. I urge fans to get up to watch us on Saturday and cheer us on to what would be a massive win.”
Daniel Braithwaite returns from suspension but Clive is sweating on the fitness of Dean Readings, Chris Wright, Matt Carruthers and Paul Hyde – although all should be fine. Keeper Paul Rogers has sustained a knee injury and is out for a month – which means the Whites boss is looking to sign a keeper as cover for Hyde this week.
He said: “I’m going to resist signing any players on-loan, unless there’s an emergency situation. Loan players aren’t always committed to the cause and are only turning out to get fit.
“I need players who want to stay at this club and be part of what we’re trying to build here.”