Hawks Boss Lee Bradbury insists his team aren’t thinking about their summer holidays just yet as Dover Athletic visit Westleigh Park in the Blue Square Bet South tomorrow (3pm).
The Hawks kept their faint play-off hopes alive with an excellent 2-1 win at Boreham Wood in midweek but their chances of making into the top five remain slim.
With just three games left this season, the Hawks are five points adrift of fifth-placed Eastleigh, who also have two games in hand.
But even if they do eventually miss out, Bradbury has done a remarkable job since replacing former manager Stuart Ritchie in October – when the Hawks looked no better than a relegation-battling outfit.
The former Pompey striker, however, wants to continue the standard he’s set and is determined to make sure his team finish the season in a positive fashion.
‘It is very important to end the season on a high to maintain the feel-good factor,’ said Bradbury.
‘If we can finish well, then everyone can come back after a break in a more positive frame of mind.
‘We have three very tough games to go and we must keep going right to the end.
‘They are all against top sides so that is incentive enough for the players.’
The Hawks have lost just twice in their past 14 games, with last weekend’s defeat at Maidenhead United virtually ending their play-off hopes.
However, Bradbury was delighted with the way his players responded to that setback and immediately returned to winning ways at Boreham Wood.
‘The players showed that after one bad 45 minutes in 14 games they can get back to it quickly,’ he said.
‘Hopefully they have learned if you take your foot off the pedal at this level then you will get punished.’
The manager freshened things up on Tuesday night by introducing central defender Juan Cruz Gotta and striker Kelvin Bossman to his starting line-up
Both players did well, with the former notching the winning goal on his full-debut
The Argentinian has had to wait for his opportunity and looked a class act against the hosts’ big target men.
Bossman came in for the explosive Sahr Kabba, who was rested, showing that Bradbury intends to utilise the whole of his squad.
He added: ‘The players know it is all about the squad and have bought into it.
‘They know there are times when they will be in and out of the team and everyone understands that.’
The Hawks drew 2-2 at Dover recently, thanks to goals from Kabba and Christian Nanetti.
But they are expecting a tough test from their fellow play-off-chasing visitors.
‘At their place we showed them too much respect in the first half,’ said Bradbury.
‘We went at them in the second half and it is important that this time we do that from the start.’
Hawks: Masters, Newton, Gotta, Harris, Grant, Hutchinson, Ryan, Ramsey, Arthur, Bossman, Nanetti, Palmer, Kabba, Jones, Strugnell, Monteiro, Weekes