Gale: Hawks can survive relegation dogfight

Shaun Gale. Picture: Mick Young
Shaun Gale. Picture: Mick Young
Ryan Woodford has making 200 appearances for the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland

Woodford challenged to make 400 Hawks appearances

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Departed manager Shaun Gale is tipping the Hawks to get the wins needed to guarantee their Blue Square Bet South survival.

Gale’s four-year stint as manager was ended at the weekend after the Hawks slipped into the bottom three for the first time this season with defeat at Basingstoke.

After a meeting with chairman Derek Pope on Sunday morning Gale agreed to step down, leaving his assistant Steve Johnson and fitness coach Adie Aymes to take charge for the last six games.

‘I am massively disappointed not to be able to finish the job,’ said Gale.

‘No one is more gutted than me. Having been in football since the age of 16, I can understand why Derek Pope had to make the decision.

‘The club is deep in my heart and I have had a fantastic 11 years with them.

‘Not many people can boast being with the same club that long.

‘The current group of players are one of the tightest-knit groups I have worked with and that just adds to the disappointment.

‘I still want to be a manager or a coach somewhere at some time in the future and feel that I still have a lot to offer. Over the four years that I have been a manager I have learned a lot.

‘I wish Jonno and Adie all the best, and I believe they will get the points needed to keep the Hawks in Blue Square Bet South.

‘It’s great to see the club getting new investment and hopefully the extra financial clout will enable the club to kick on.

‘I have had massive support from people in the game at all levels since Sunday and I have appreciated that.’

n See page 45 for the latest on the Hawks’ search for Shaun Gale’s successor.