Bradbury calls on the Hawks to be braver

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Theo Lewis scored for the Hawks in the 38th minute at Wealdstone. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Good show on the road as Hawks impress to beat Wealdstone

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Lee Bradbury wants his players to be braver following their 1-0 home defeat by Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.

A fourth defeat in six games represents a disappointing start to the Vanarama Conference South campaign for the Westleigh Park club.

Successive wins over Staines Town and Bath City looked to have got the Hawks back on track.

But the performance on Saturday was a big disappointment.

It leaves the Hawks with six points from their opening six games and fifth from bottom of the league.

Bradbury’s team have been far from convincing, however, and the manager needs some of his senior players to step up to the plate.

The Hawks boss said: ‘Players shifted responsibility far too much for my liking against Bishop’s Stortford, particularly in the first half.

‘The players know that and have been left under no illusions that it is unacceptable.

‘Nobody took responsibility when things were not going our way.

‘We have a reasonably new group of players, including a number of young lads.

‘There are two types of bravery.

‘Bravery to get on the ball and keep trying to do the right things.

‘Also, there is the bravery needed to tackle and be competitive against your opposite number.

‘Neither of those were good enough from my point of view.

‘We needed a few more leaders out on the pitch.

‘In the first half Bishop’s Stortford were first to the second ball and we lost the midfield battle.’

Bradbury’s front pair of Shamir Mullings and JJ Hooper seem to be struggling to find their way.

It was the lack of a striker capable of scoring 20 goals plus that cost the Hawks dearly last season.

At the moment, Bradbury looks no closer to solving that particular problem.

A hamstring injury to summer arrival Bradley Bubb hasn’t helped. He is still to find the net in the league.

It would be no surprise if Bradbury decided to bring in a more experienced forward sooner rather than later.

In midfield, the Hawks are still missing the quality of Nigel Atangana following his summer move to Pompey.

Perry Ryan and Nic Ciardini have been below par, though the latter is showing signs of getting back to his best.

For long periods in the first half against Stortford the midfield was bypassed altogether.

The Hawks resorted to hitting long balls forward again which Stortford easily dealt with.

Bradbury admits that he favours a 4-4-2 strategy.

But for that to work his midfield need to be far more competitive and start controlling the possession better.

Bradbury knows his team must put things right quickly.

They need to be taking charge of games from the outset.

He feels the attitude of the players is key.

Bradbury said: ‘In this league if you want to pick up points you have to be at it from the start,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have to get it right mentally, making sure we go out on the pitch with the right attitude.’