Hessenthaler looks forward to Sunday cup clash
Hessenthaler looks forward to Sunday cup clash

The TV cameras are heading for East Kent on Sunday lunchtime and they will be looking for Dover Athletic to write another page of FA Cup giant-killing in the annuls of the Greatest Cup Competition in the World. 

SKYBet League One strugglers Southend United are in town, and boss Andy Hessenthaler can’t wait, as he admitted to KSN on Friday.  “It’s been an exciting week off the back of four points in two games in the League – its been a nice week; training has been good; the boys have been good and are really looking forward to the game on Sunday.”

“It’s given us a boost and a bit more confidence going into the game.  Really the league programme goes out of the window when it comes to the FA Cup and I’m a big believer that anything can happen in the FA Cup – we know that its going to be a tough game and that they’re from two divisions above.

I know that they’re not doing great in the league now, but they’ve got a new manager in and they’ll be looking to change their fortunes.  It might be a welcome break for them from the league.  So, we know it’s going to be a tough game, but we’re prepared and if we’re at our maximum and a few of their players have an off day, we could cause an upset, so we look forward to it!”

Sunday sees the Dover boss renew old acquaintances with new Shrimpers boss – former England international Sol Campbell – a point that Hessenthaler acknowledged. 

“He had a wonderful career as a player and has got some experienced people around him and I’m looking forward to playing against him again to be fair – played against Sol when I was at Watford but now of course it’s a different cattle of fish as it’s the team I’m managing against a side that he is.  He’s had a real tough run of games since he took over – it hasn’t been easy for them.  He’ll find a way of getting it right with a tough challenge on his hands which was of course exactly what we had when we came into Dover – we were able to turn it around and I’m sure that Sol will be able to do the same at Southend.”

Hessenthaler then recalled the day back in 2002 that his Gillingham side played Campbell’s Arsenal side at Highbury in Round Five. 

“We got them back to 2-2, and we looked up and they were putting Henry and Pires on – what ever happened to those two?” said the Dover boss laughing.  “They decided to jump on, and I decided to put myself on and it all went wrong!  But all joking aside, it will be nice to see Sol on Sunday – he’s got a big job on his hands when he took the job on.  They will have done their homework on us and know what we can do – its FA Cup day and anything can happen!”

Summing up, Hessenthaler admitted, “They’re favourites and they’re two divisions above even though some bookmakers have us at a short price, but that’s why the cameras will be there isn’t it as they’re looking for an upset wherever they go,  For me, they are the favourites and we’ll have to play to our maximum and them have an off-day!”