Lee Bradbury is relishing the Hawks’ attractive friendly against Queens Park Rangers under-23s at Westleigh Park tomorrow.
The boss acted quickly to arrange the extra game for his troops after they were left without a fixture due to Oxford City’s FA Cup second-round tie at Notts County on Saturday.
The 7.30pm kick-off-clash will serve as a dual-purpose exercise for Bradbury.
The Hawks manager firstly believes it will keep his troops’ fitness levels up.
And it also gives him a chance to scout any QPR players who he could potentially snap up on loan in the future.
‘It will be a really useful exercise from my point of view,’ said Bradbury.
‘Their coach, Paul Hall, is an ex-Pompey winger and is a friend, so we were able to organise it.
‘The extra game will help keep my players up to scratch, stay fit and game ready.
‘At the same time, I can run my eye over the opposition players who could be available at some stage for loan deals if needed.
‘They are only an hour up the A3 from us, so it is not too difficult.
‘I have seen them play a couple of times already this season and they are a good team.
‘They have good ability in keeping the ball and quickly turn winning the ball into attacks.
‘A lot of teams have looked to do that to us at Westleigh Park this season.
‘This young QPR side possess lots of pace, so it will be a worthwhile test for my players.’
Bradbury will also use the game to ease defender Ed Harris and midfielder Dave Carter back into action.
They both missed the 3-1 FA Trophy win against Dorking Wanderers last weekend through suspension.
The Westleigh Park boss has also taken the opportunity this week to give his troops a break.
The players didn’t train on Tuesday night as per usual after being given a well-earned rest.
Bradbury insisted his squad will benefit from the time out ahead of the upcoming busy Christmas period.
He added: ‘It isn’t very often you get the chance to have a short mid-season break.
‘We have had so many games and are heading into the busy Christmas period.
‘Games will be coming thick and fast.
‘It is a time when things can change very quickly in a short space of time.
‘This is all about making sure we are ready for that.’
Entry to the game is £5.