Dover Athletic could very well be National League darkhorses - so says Chesterfield boss John Sheridan

Chesterfield manager John Sheridan has labelled Saturday’s opponents Dover Athletic as this season’s dark horses ahead of the new National League season.

By Elliott Jackson
Friday, 02 August, 2019, 15:22
John Sheridan has warned Dover are a dangerous team.

Chesterfield manager John Sheridan has labelled Saturday’s opponents Dover Athletic as this season’s dark horses ahead of the new National League season.

The Spireites kick off their campaign at home to the Whites, who finished one place and one point above them last season.

Like Chesterfield, Dover were in a relegation battle for much of the campaign before Andy Hessenthaler took over and steered them away from trouble.

Sheridan did a similar job for Chesterfield last season and now many are tipping the Spireites to kick on and challenge for promotion.

However, Sheridan believes Dover will be battling at the right end of the table this time around and put that down to the winning mentality of their boss, Hessenthaler.

“I think Dover will be a surprise package,” he explained, speaking to the press ahead of the game.

“I know they’re just going into the first game but I go by their manager and what he’s like as a person, what he was like as a player.

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“As I’ve said before, I played against him at the back end of my career and he’s a winner. He wants to win. He was in a similar position to myself last year when he went in at Dover and he’s done a really good job, kept them up comfortably.

“He’s moved on, brought in a few of his own players and brought some good players in. I’m expecting a really tough game, we’ve had them watched and they’ve had a few really good results in pre-season.”

With Dover set to pose a tough test on the opening day, Sheridan stressed the importance of grinding out results.

Whilst the Spireites boss is keen to play a brand of attractive, entertaining football, he was clear that the most important thing for the club is to pick up three points.

“I’m expecting a really difficult game but if we’re thinking of promotion or being in and around there, we’ve got to be winning and be strong at home.

“When I came in last season I thought we did alright at home. Whether you play poorly or play team off the park, it’s about getting three points at the end of the day.

“That’s what I’ve got to install in the players, a winning mentality. I want to play attractive football and score loads of goals but sometimes you’ve got to grind it out.

“Just make sure you get the right result.”

Follow our matchday live feed here on Saturday as Chesterfield look to start with a bang