Life at Hawks is toe joke for Holland

Chris Holland in action for the Hawks against Welling United
Chris Holland in action for the Hawks against Welling United
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman (170972-31)

Bradbury hails his steely Hawks

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Chris Holland has found playing for the Hawks a real pain since arriving at Westleigh Park from local rivals Eastleigh during the summer.

However, the 31-year-old isn’t regretting his decision to move eastwards along the M27.

Instead, the defender broke a toe in the 4-1 defeat at Salisbury City on bank holiday Monday and needed painkillers to play through the pain barrier at Eastbourne Borough at the weekend.

In that game at Priory Lane, the Hawks suffered a 2-1 defeat, making it five losses from their opening seven games of the new season.

But the experienced Holland admits that hurts more than his toe.

‘It is a frustrating time for us all at the moment,’ he said.

‘We have been guilty of giving away soft goals at crucial times in games.

‘Eastbourne didn’t have many chances but stuck two of them away.

‘For their second goal, in particular, we needed to be much more aware of what was happening around us.

‘We need to get it sorted.

‘With the quality of players in our squad we should be much higher in the league.

‘I have played at this level for the past six or seven seasons and there is no-one we should be afraid of.

‘We have to get back a mentality of becoming difficult to beat and pull together as a team.

‘It is vital that we make sure we defend as 11 players and no-one is out there for themselves.’

Holland started his career as a trainee with AFC Bournemouth and had spells with Bristol City, Exeter City and Team Bath before spending five seasons with Bath City.

He was an integral part of the City side who earned a place in the Conference Premier through the play-offs in May 2010, making over 200 appearances and scoring 36 goals in total for the Romans.

When he relocated to Southampton in the summer of 2010 he joined Eastleigh, scoring six times in his 46 appearances for the Spitfires.

Holland now faces the prospect of an uncomfortable few weeks as he is determined to carry on regardless of his latest injury.

‘I took a lot of painkillers before the game at Eastbourne and the toe is still sore,’ he added.

‘It will take four to six weeks to heal, and as a centre-half I can’t take all that time off.

‘It will be a case of playing through the pain.’

Holland will be dosing himself up again at the weekend when newly-promoted Sutton United are the visitors to Westleigh Park.