Aston Villa keeper set for debut as Havant & Waterlooville face huge Maidenhead match
Hawks manager Lee Bradbury has drafted in goalkeeper Matija Sarkic ahead of tonight’s crucial Vanarama National League relegation battle at Maidenhead United (7.45pm).
The Aston Villa loanee comes straight into the squad because regular keeper Ben Dudzinski is injured.
Sarkic, who is a Montenegro under 21 international, has been on loan at Wigan Athletic.
It will be a difficult match to come into as it promises to be a tense and nervy affair.
Both teams are desperate for points in the fight to stay in the division.
The Hawks currently occupy the final relegation spot five points adrift of safety.
Maidenhead are two places and six points better off than the visitors.
With so much at stake a hard, close-fought affair is expected at London Road.
Bradbury accepts the result can have a big bearing on the Hawks chances of survival.
A win or draw will keep them very much in the mix.
Defeat, however, will pretty much put Maidenhead out of reach.
Bradbury insists the Hawks won’t panic.
He said: ‘There are a very important three points on offer and we will go there looking to win a football match.
‘In our position it is all about winning and putting the points on the board.
‘It doesn’t matter how we do it and will require us to be single-minded.
‘The fact we put seven goals past them earlier in the season only serves to make it tougher.
‘They will be hurting from that and keen to exact some revenge.
‘We are expecting a very tough game.
‘Maidenhead also know if they win they can open up a seven-point gap and put themselves in the clear.
‘We will need to show patience and at the same time play with purpose.
‘Our focus will be on doing the things we have done on a consistent basis.
‘This means working harder than our opponents and keeping a clean sheet.
‘If we have to grind out a win then so be it.’
A major concern for the Hawks is the fitness of midfield maestro Wes Fogden.
Fogden had to pull out of training on Saturday with a strain.
Fellow attacking midfielder Chris Paul is definitely out with a hamstring problem.
Andreas Robinson also misses the game through suspension.
Bradbury knows he needs another big performance from his team.
They have been unfortunate in recent weeks against some of the top sides. They deserved to come away with something against both Leyton Orient and Wrexham.
Against Chesterfield they felt robbed after losing to a stoppage-time penalty.
Bradbury must feel it is time for the luck to change.