*BS*ANDY HESSENTHALER is looking to bounce back with victory against “the toughest league opponents we’re likely to meet this season”.

*BF*The Whites player-boss, disappointed with the performance during the 3-2 FA Trophy defeat on Tuesday, is now focussing on trying to maintain his side’s healthy lead at the top of the table.

He said: “Whatever way you cut it, we were not at our best. There were few positives to take out of the game.

“That happens in football and now we must look to be on top of our game against the best side we’re likely to play this season.

“Staines are tough cookies and I was impressed with them when we beat them in the FA Trophy a couple of weeks ago. No doubt, they’re going to be fired up to beat us.”

Hess was delighted with Alan Pouton and Sammy Moore on Tuesday and said: “They were our best two players and their passing and the way they kept the ball was first class. It was the only positive we could take.

“But Tuesday is history now – and all our energy must be on beating Staines. Everyone at the club wants to win this title. Victory will help us in that bid.”

Meanwhile, speculation, starting on a Watford fans’ website, has linked Hess with the vacancy at the Championship club.

But Hess said: “No-one has been in touch with me. I’m just concentrating on getting Dover a back-to-back promotion.

“I am very happy here at Dover Athletic and will keep working hard to improve this squad and won’t distract from that.”