Defenders must get back to their best for Hawks

LEE BRADBURY is backing his Hawks defenders to get it right ahead of the Ryman League premier division visit to Folkestone Invicta (3pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 27th January 2017, 6:30 am
Andreas Robinson. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Andreas Robinson. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He insists they must not let their torrid opening 45 minutes against Needham Market rock their confidence.

The Hawks conceded three goals before the break and looked vulnerable every time the Suffolk side hit them on the break.

Bradbury is hoping that proves to be a one-off.

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‘Before our last game we had the best defensive record in the league and kept three successive clean sheets,’ said Bradbury.

‘That is what we need to get back to, it is vital we get back into the mentality of defending first and trying to play our football second.

‘Our game management and decision making at the back wasn’t good enough.

‘We have to react a lot quicker and have far better communication going on.

‘Against Needham Market we were nowhere near decisive enough.

‘It was the manner of the goals we conceded that was most disappointing.

‘I am not going to slam my defenders, though, because they have been great most of the season.

‘They are as keen to put things right as anybody.

‘I am looking for us to continue with our good performances away from home.’

Bradbury is boosted by the return of Andreas Robinson from injury as he offers a midfield or defensive option.

Robinson has got the all-clear after a scan on his knee.

Full-back Dan Strugnell could return to the squad if he comes through a fitness test but he might not be ready to start.

‘Strugs has been one of our most consistent performers this season,’ said Bradbury.

‘We need to make sure he is 100-per-cent right though.’

Bradbury is also waiting on Wes Fogden who has been out with illness.

Mike Carter stepped in to make his debut in place of Fogden and is another option.

‘I thought he did well considering he hadn’t played for the best part of a month,’ said Bradbury.

‘He put in a very solid 45 minutes and I only took him off at half-time because we needed another striker on the pitch.’

Folkestone slammed four goals past Lowestoft Town in their last game so could capitalise on any Hawks errors.

‘We have to make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot again,’ said Bradbury.

‘The players have worked hard in training to put things right.

‘We feel we are going into the game strong.’

Hawks: Young, Woodford, Molyneaux, Harris, Williams, Stock, Lewis, Fogden, Carter, Paterson, Rutherford, Prior, Hayter, Barker, Robinson, Strugnell