Gale eyes rapid Hawks progress

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain is on loan at Oxford City. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey loan watch – weekend report

The Hawks are hoping they can start playing catch-up with their visit to Weston-super-Mare in the Blue Square South (3pm).

The hosts have already played seven more league games than Shaun Gale's men and the boss views it as a good opportunity to make up lost ground.

Snow, ice, frost, cup commitments and pitch drainage problems have all combined to frustrate the Hawks over the past two months.

As a result they face a horrendous fixture backlog that will see them playing at least twice a week for the next three months.

With games in hand, the Hawks can still launch a realistic bid for the end of season play-offs but need to start turning the extra games into points.

'We are all straining at the bit to get out there and play football again,' said Gale.

'It is vital we start to put a run of good results together, though it isn't easy when everything is so stop-start.

'The games will be coming thick and fast so that will give us a chance to move up quickly.

'We are literally having to play catch-up and that is very frustrating.

'It hasn't been easy for the players but they have been great.

'They have come in, trained hard and remained focused on the challenge ahead of them.

'It is difficult enough for full-time players so they have done well to keep it going on a part-time basis.

'A win at Weston would give us a massive boost and we have shown already this season we are capable of going to difficult places and winning.

'We have to cut out the silly mistakes that have cost us goals recently, though, and get back to being difficult to break down.

'I was pleased with the majority of our last performance at Eastleigh, even though we eventually lost.

'We have done relatively well at Weston in recent years and I don't see any reason why we can't continue that.'

Influential midfielder Ian Selley is on the road to recovery from his calf injury but he may have to wait until next week to return.

'It will be good to get Selley back because his experience is invaluable to us,' said the manager.

'We have to be careful not to rush him back too soon because we don't want to lose him again.

'He has been missed and we need him back fighting fit.'

Sammy Igoe and Craig Robson are definitely out with injury but Gale expects Must-afa Tiryaki to feature despite ongoing back problems.

Leon Cashman is back from his Royal Navy and FA Cup draw commitments.

Cashman featured live on national television last weekend representing the navy as the services made the draw for the fourth round of the Cup.

Hawks: Howe, Newton, Pearce, Simpemba, McDonald, Cashman, Hopkinson, Hinshelwood, Fogden, Ramsey, Sole, Tiryaki, Williams, Sewell, Ashmore, Baldaccino