Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt has praised the way opposite number Andy Hessenthaler has been able to lead Dover Athletic out of trouble, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting between the two sides at Holker Street.

Dover will secure their survival in the National League should they better Havant & Waterlooville’s result, which would represent a remarkable recovery since Hessenthaler took charge in October.

That was just over a week after the Bluebirds had comfortably defeated the Whites down in Kent, at a time when they were in danger of being cut adrift at the bottom of the table.

Evatt’s side had a remarkable 83 per cent of possession that day, but they are likely to find their opponents will offer far more resistance on this occasion.

Evatt said: “He’s done a fantastic job because when we played them down there, it’s fair to say it was probably our most comfortable victory of the season and they looked dead and buried.

“To rejuvenate the squad and get the results they’ve got to get them out of trouble is very, very good, so he can take a lot of credit for that.

“It’s going to be a difficult game, but going back to us and what we do, I have firm belief in my players that if we turn up and play the way we can play then we can beat anyone in this league.

“That goes from top to bottom, so if we can execute our plans and execute what we’re trying to do, with the ball and without the ball, then I think Dover will have a difficult afternoon.

“If we don’t, then we’ll have a similar performance to Boreham Wood.”

Barrow were defeated 2-1 by the Wood in their previous home game, as their struggle to consistently pick up results at Holker Street continued – they’ve only won on their own patch three times in the last six months.

However, on the road they have been able to string together performances and that can be traced back to the 2-0 victory they recorded at the Crabble Athletic Ground in September, which was their first away win of the campaign.

“We were getting a bit panicky about not winning away from home, but it was a magnificent performance,” Evatt said.

“The pleasing thing for me is there aren’t many teams in this league, or even in League One or League Two, that can go away from home and dominate games like we’ve done at times this season.

“That was a highlight for me, the Dover game, it was the start of some excellent away performances and we’ve got to take credit from that and build on that next season and try and get our home and away form as equally consistent as each other.”

The Bluebirds will also be hoping striker Jamie Philpot can build on his encouraging performance in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.

In what was his third appearance for the club, the 22-year-old twice came close to opening his account for them, while there were positive signs in his partnership with Jack Hindle.

Evatt said: “Obviously, he’s going to get better with games – he hasn’t really played that often.

“It’s his first time really out of the south and London and he’s living away from home in Manchester, in a strange place, and it’s going to take time for him to settle, but I think he’s starting to do that now.”