Back to business for the Hawks

The returning Nic Ciardini is expected to be named among the substitutes for the visit of West-super-Mare
The returning Nic Ciardini is expected to be named among the substitutes for the visit of West-super-Mare
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries are big concern but defensive errors also worry Hawks

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Lee Bradbury wants the Hawks to get back to business against Weston-super-Mare in the Vanarama Conference South at Westleigh Park (3pm).

The manager is hoping his side won’t let their 3-0 FA Cup defeat at the hands of League One Preston North End affect their promotion bid.

Currently fifth in the league table, the Hawks will no longer be under the spotlight of the live television cameras and Bradbury is insisting they regain their focus and pick up points.

‘We can take a lot of pride as a club, both on and off the pitch, from the Preston game,’ said the boss.

‘It was frustrating to lose but sometimes you have to be realistic about things.

‘Preston are an outstanding League One side with players who have international experience.

‘Callum Robinson, who did all the damage, has played in the Premier Legaue this season with Aston Villa and represented England at under-20 level.

‘They were able to bring on Neil Kilkenny as a sub and he has 14 international caps for Australia.

‘The defeat is still hurting us a little but we need to put it behind us and move on as quickly as possible.

‘It is crucial we do that against Weston-Super-Mare.’

The Hawks’ recent league form has been impressive – with just one defeat in their past eight games, including five clean sheets.

Bradbury knows it is important his team keep their FA Cup exit in perspective. He doesn’t want it to rock the confidence that has been growing in the past two months.

The perfect remedy in his eyes will be picking up three points against the Seagulls tomorrow.

If the Hawks can achieve that then the FA Cup defeat can become a distant memory.

‘We need to pick up where we left off in the league,’ added Bradbury.

‘It will be important to start well and get back on our game.

‘Weston are second from bottom and have not been having a great time of it.

‘They also have a big FA Cup game of their own against Doncaster Rovers next week.

‘We gave our players a couple of days off in the week because the Preston game took a lot out of them mentally and physically.

‘Hopefully, we will go into the game with our batteries recharged.’

Midfielder Nic Ciardini is back in contention after being suspended for the FA Cup game.

Fellow midfielder Harry Wedlake is back from his loan spell at Bognor.

With a full squad to choose from, Bradbury is unlikely to make many changes to the starting line-up that has done well in the league.

Ciardini may have to settle for a place on the bench as Ben Swallow has impressed since coming in.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Dutton, Harris, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly, Swallow, Bubb, Hooper, Huggins, Ciardini, Ryan, Connell, Mullings, Blanchett, Woodford