Dan can be the man

Dan Thompson signs scholarship forms for Pompey after arriving from Hampton & Richmond Borough Picture: Joe Pepler

Dan Thompson signs scholarship forms for Pompey after arriving from Hampton & Richmond Borough Picture: Joe Pepler

Moneyfields beat Newport IW 1-0 to finish top of the Wessex League premier division. Picture: Keith Woodland. 170532

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Hawks boss Shaun Gale will turn to Pompey loanee Dan Thompson in a bid to silence his Westleigh Park critics.

Gale has come under increasing pressure this season, with his under-performing Hawks currently sitting just four points above the relegation zone in 17th place.

That pressure gained further momentum following the side’s 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Dartford last Saturday – and is likely to reach boiling point if victory against fellow Blue Square Bet South Maidenhead United isn’t achieved tomorrow.

Gale’s cause hasn’t been helped by the continued absence of leading scorer Ollie Palmer, who is currently away on holiday and may not be back in time to face United.

But last week’s loan arrival of former Hampton & Richmond Borough striker Thompson from Pompey could prove timely, with the 18-year-old set to be handed his first start for the Hawks.

Thompson, who scored on his debut for the Pompey Academy side against Ipswich on Saturday after signing scholarship forms, is highly rated by Blues boss Michael Appleton.

And with the Hawks desperate to turn their season around, Gale knows he needs all the help he can to put it right.

‘Last week wasn’t good enough and we have a point to prove after that,’ said Gale.

‘We don’t want to be where we are in the league and it is a situation we have to address.

‘Three or four players were off the boil against Dartford and it is down to me to put it right.

‘We have got to start winning games.’

Gale added that his players needed to step up to the mark and raise their game for the challenging times that lie ahead.

‘On far too many occasions this season we have shot ourselves in the foot – and last week was another example,’ he said.

‘When things start to go against us, instead of keeping our shape and continuing to do our jobs, we tend to go a bit haywire.

‘Players then switch off and don’t do their jobs.

‘In those situations, we need more leaders in our camp.

‘We have underachieved because we are good enough as a squad to be challenging for the play-offs.

‘At times we have not been nasty enough.

‘We have still only lost three of our past 12 games but have drawn far too many.

‘It is important that we pick up all three points against Maidenhead this weekend before facing two tough games away from home.’

Gale is further boosted by the availability of central defender Chris Holland for tomorrow’s game.

He returns after serving a two-game suspension, while the only injury doubt is last weekend’s scorer Scott Jones, who has a hamstring problem.

Hawks: Beazley, Newton, Holland, Pearce, Arthur, Igoe, Ramsey, Ryan, Cashman, Thompson, Jones, Braham-Barrett, Peacock, Hinshelwood, Woodford, McDonald, Hopkinson

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