Bradbury: Hawks must adapt

Bradley Bubb. Picture: Mick Young
Bradley Bubb. Picture: Mick Young
Dave Carter. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Lee Bradbury believes the Hawks will have to adapt their style if they are to pick up precious Vanarama Conference South points at Hemel Hempstead (3pm).

The Hawks’ slick passing blew away Southern League side Weymouth in their FA Trophy replay in midweek.

A key factor in that 5-0 win was the excellent condition of the Westleigh Park playing surface which allowed the home side to zip the ball around.

Hemel Hempstead had people watching the game and they suggested their Vauxhall Road pitch will present the Hawks with a totally different set of problems.

They believe the visitors won’t find it so easy to produce their fluent, accurate, passing game.

Bradbury is backing his squad to cope and come to terms with the conditions.

He said: ‘It might have to be a bit of a different game but we have the players in the squad to deal with it.

‘Hemel is a tough place to go but it is important heading into the holiday period that we get something out of the game.

‘We will have to go there prepared to work hard and do the horrible aspects of the game well.

‘They have got some good players and have had some good results recently.

‘They beat Sutton United 1-0 in the FA Trophy and are sure to make it difficult for us.

‘We showed against Weymouth, though, that we have great depth in our squad with players coming in and doing well.

‘There are a number of good players who cannot get into the starting line-up at the moment and selection is a bit of a headache.

‘Those are the problems you don’t mind having as a manager though.’

Midfielder Perry Ryan is ruled out after he pulled up in the warm-up at Weymouth last weekend with back problems.

He missed the replay and was due to see a doctor in the week.

Josh Huggins suffered a groin strain on Tuesday night and it is touch and go whether he will be fit.

Full-back Warren Cummings was rested in the week and is likely to return, though Dan Blanchett did well on a rare appearance.

‘We are going to need every member of our squad in the weeks ahead,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is important that we all stick together because all will have a part to play.’

Bradbury is hoping the five midweek goals will boost his strikers’ confidence this weekend.

In their last away game at St Albans they failed to score and lost 1-0.

‘We were not brave enough on the ball – particularly in the opposition area,’ said Bradbury.

‘Hopefully that will now change and they will carry on hitting the net.

Strikers Ben Wright and Bradley Bubb are set to continue up top, with Ben Swallow on the flank.

Hawks (from): Young, Strugnell, Dutton, Harris, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly, Swallow, Bubb, Wright, Ciardini, Blanchett, Woodford, Connell, Mullings, Hooper, Wedlake.