Omens are good for Hawks’ revival bid

Shaun Gale. Picture: Dave Haines
Shaun Gale. Picture: Dave Haines
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Shaun Gale is hoping his men will come up trumps at Melbourne Park – again.

The Hawks travel to the home of Chelmsford City in the Blue Square Bet South tomorrow (3pm).

The clash with the fourth-placed Clarets marks the start of a tough run for the Westleigh Park outfit.

Six of their next seven games are against sides in the top 10 of the table.

In 11 fixtures with teams of similar stature so far this term, the Hawks have earned just seven points.

Gale admits that record must improve with daunting visits to Welling and Dorchester following tomorrow’s road trip.

And Melbourne Park could be the perfect venue to boost their form, with the Hawks unbeaten there in six visits.

‘We have a tough run coming up and we know what we have to do,’ said the manager.

‘Three consecutive away games at Chelmsford, Welling and Dorchester won’t be easy.

‘But we have won at all three places before and there is no reason why we can’t do it again.

‘Our record at Chelmsford is decent and we can go there and upset them again.

‘We have to go to these places, defend well, be resilient and take our chances when they come along.

‘What we must not do is repeat what happened at Eastleigh when we gifted them a two-goal start.

‘It will all be down to showing a mental strength and keeping clean sheets.

‘If we can do that, I always believe we have a goal in us.’

Gale will be looking for striker Ollie Palmer to hit the goal trail again after suffering a drought since before Christmas.

The youngster is still feeling his way back after a two-week Caribbean holiday. He got another 90 minutes under his belt in the midweek friendly against AFC Wimbledon.

But if the Hawks are to pull away from danger, Palmer needs to rediscover the form that delivered eight goals in nine games when he first burst on to the scene in October.

Gale was also able to give some of his squad players vital minutes against AFC Wimbledon.

And there is little doubt that all will get an opportunity in the busy weeks ahead.

The manager is keeping his fingers crossed he can keep his squad injury free.

He admits that could be a key factor in a successful finish to the season.

And while it has been an inconsistent campaign, the Hawks are determined to end it in a positive fashion.

Midfielder Bobby Hopkinson serves a one-match suspension.

Striker Dan Thompson is still out with ankle ligament damage, while Scott Jones tweeked his groin in midweek but Gale is optimistic he will be fit.

Hawks: Beazley, Newton, Woodford, Holland, Pearce, McDonald, Ryan, Ramsey, Hinshelwood, Arthur, Palmer, Jones, Igoe, Braham-Barrett, Whyte