Bradbury demands more from Hawks

Hawks defender Brian Dutton
Hawks defender Brian Dutton
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Keith Woodland

Hawks boss sickened by home form

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Lee Bradbury has called on the Hawks to raise their game ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth-qualifying round tie against Cheltenham Town at Westleigh Park (3pm).

The visitors are second in the Conference National and will pose a formidable test for the home side.

Their record on the road this season is impressive, with them losing just once in nine games to date.

With 19 goals to their name, they are also the league’s highest scorers away from home.

Bradbury accepts if his team are to stand any chance of causing an upset they will need to be a lot better than in recent weeks.

Five consecutive league defeats have dented the Hawks’ confidence.

The manager is hoping a good Cup performance will help his troops kick-start their campaign.

‘This is a tough test and we know that we will have to be better than we have been lately,’ said Bradbury.

‘If we are to stand any chance we will need to be better in both boxes.

‘We have been creating lots of chances but not taking them.

‘I would be far more worried if we weren’t creating any chances and believe our fortunes will change once we start taking them.

‘If we can up our work-rate and keep a good shape about us, then we will have a chance.’

The return of experienced defender Brian Dutton is a big plus for the home side as they look to plug the gaps in their defence.

Dutton replaced young defender Manny Monthe in the first half against Wealdstone on Saturday after a lengthy absence due to injury.

He came through the game without any ill-effects and should retain his place in the heart of the Hawks defence.

Bradbury is unlikely to risk playing the inexperienced Monthe and veteran Pedro Monteiro against the visitors’ potent strike-force.

‘It will be all about finding the balance between going out to win the tie but also making sure we stay in the game,’ added the manager.

‘We have identified areas where we can hurt them and worked on it in training.

‘It is the FA Cup and there are always plenty of upsets.

‘Our aim is to try and make sure we are one of them.’

Bradbury is also boosted by the return of defender Harry Medway and experienced striker James Hayter from injury.

The manager remains positive and is relishing the chance to take on top-notch opposition.

‘This should be another great FA Cup occasion at Westleigh Park,’ said Bradbury.

‘For us to win the game we will have to be at our best.

‘To get into the first round proper and the chance to be drawn against a Football League club can make a huge difference.

‘We saw that last season when we played Preston North End in a live televised game.’

Hawks: Young, Blanchett, Strugnell, Dutton, Davies, Donnelly, Stock, Clifton, Paterson, Hayter, Morgan, Swallow, Azeez, Cummings, Mullings, Searle C, Thomson, Monthe