Dover manager Chris Kinnear, one of my favourite managers, has been talking to Kent Online today, and he believes Lincoln City are one of the bigger spenders in the division.
Despite only paying a transfer fee for two players this season (Whitehouse and Raggett), the controversial manager feels we are still buying success, as opposed to little old Dover, battling with the big boys.
“It’s a big game and being on TV adds an extra edge. They are big spenders in this league and expected to be up there. The top 11 or 12 sides are either the big spenders or former Football League clubs. We are the smallest club in there with them but we’re holding our own.”
One thing that seems to slip his mind is that our budget is reflective of our large crowds and increased income through the FA Cup run, whereas his plucky little Dover side are reliant on the money filtered down by the owner and another good friend of the blog, Jim Parmenter. With an average attendance of just over 1,200 I fail to see how they can afford four quality forwards such as Ross Lafayette, Rocky Miller, Ricky Modeste and Ricky Miller.
Despite billing his side as the smallest club in the promotion race, he’s still hopeful of getting a result against the resplendent Imps.
“We’ve been to Lincoln and won there before. We deservedly beat them at home and they didn’t have much in the way of shots.”
He also feels that our FA Cup heroics may not be the disadvantage that some might think, with his own side having played league and cup games in quick succession this season.
“It’s hard to say what kind of an impact it will make – whether it will play into our hands or not. We had extra-time against Cambridge in the FA Cup on a Thursday night and thought that would kill us but two days later we came out and beat Guiseley 2-0.”
He then finished on the factually incorrect statement:
“You can’t predict anything, we won’t know until the game kicks-off.”
I can predict a couple of things, and I’ll give it a go here. I predict the away following will be less than the number of hits this blog gets in the first hour, and I predict the home attendance will be larger than several of the teams playing in League One 24 hours later. I’m fairly confident saying that before kick off.
Dover have won just once in their last eight games, and that was the 2-0 win over Guiseley. In recent weeks their promotion assault has faltered significantly, with a draw at hapless York and a defeat at Macclesfield on their record. They almost certainly need a result to have any chance of catching City in the title hunt.
As yet top scorer and ‘man of the moment’ Ricky Miller hasn’t got his transfer away from the club, but perhaps the hint at our budget is a reflection on our ability to bid for players such as Miller, rather than the actual money we have spent.
Our league position hasn’t been bought, it has been earned. Our increased spending power hasn’t been handed to us on a plate, it has been just reward for battling performances and increased crowds. To put us in the same bracket as FGR and Eastleigh is just plain wrong: either Kinnear doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or he is trying to create a ‘plucky underdog’ mentality ahead of their visit to a proper football ground.
There’s special praise for anyone spotting the two blatant uses of sarcasm in this blog.