Harris: Hawks still in right frame of mind

Ed Harris
Ed Harris
The Fratton faithful. Picture: Joe Pepler

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EXPERIENCED defender Ed Harris insists the Hawks are raring to go again in tonight’s rearranged Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final against Hamble Club at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

The bad weather has left the squad kicking their heels for nearly three weeks.

Pitch problems has led to the Hawks postponing Vanarama National League South home games against Wealdstone and Gloucester City.

They were hoping to get some match action in at Truro City on Saturday but only got as far as Ringwood before finding out the game had fallen foul of the heavy rain.

With an important league game against Braintree Town on Saturday the Hawks are desperate to get tonight’s cup game on.

It will help players to regain some of their match sharpness.

With that in mind manager Lee Bradbury is likely to field a full-strength side.

Harris is convinced the Hawks won’t let the enforced break disrupt their plans.

He said: ‘Not playing isn’t ideal but the mood in the camp remains very positive.

‘We have got ourselves into a strong position and are keen to keep the ball rolling.

‘The biggest frustration is the length of time we have had to wait after our defeat at Dartford.

‘After the disappointment of that result we wanted to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.

‘As a group we felt we played really well in that game and overall were the better team.

‘We had one lapse of concentration in the first two minutes but after that we dominated the game.

‘Though we have not had the opportunity to get that out of our system it isn’t playing on our minds.

‘Mentally we have a strong squad that will be able to cope with the lay off.’

One of the key reasons why the Hawks have been so successful in their first season back in National South has been the performances of Harris and Ryan Woodford at the back.

Both have played over 200 games for the club and their experience has proved invaluable.

‘Woody and I get on extremely well and have a good understanding of our jobs,’ added Harris.

‘I am comfortable knowing that if I make a mistake Woody will more often than not get me out of the lurch.’

Harris believes the Hawks can challenge for the title.

He added: ‘We had been on a good run before the Dartford defeat.

‘Everything is done professionally at the club and even though we have not been playing our focus has remained.

‘We want to be pushing at the top and certainly want to stay in the play-off places.’