'I'd like to think Saturday will pass without any issues' - Paul Doswell on Hawks' league battle with Ebbsfleet after fiery previous encounters

Paul Doswell insists his only focus is on securing a much-needed National League South win for Hawks this weekend against Ebbsfleet - and not any of the issues between the clubs in the recent past.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 3:56 pm

The Hawks boss was handed a six-game touchline ban earlier this season by the FA following an investigation into an altercation between himself and Fleet boss Dennis Kutrieb which took place when the sides previously met at Westleigh Park last season.

On that occasion, both bosses were shown red cards in the Hawks' 2-1 home defeat last February prior to the early campaign curtailment because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, when the clubs met in the reverse fixture in September - a game in which Hawks won 2-1 - Kent Online reported an 'incident between both parties' took place at full-time which left Kutrieb ‘visibly angry’.

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Things got fiery when Hawks last hosted Ebbsfleet at Westleigh Park last February Picture: Dave Haines

However, with Hawks aiming to avoid going 10 consecutive league matches without victory for just the second time in their 24-year history, Doswell is adamant there are 'zero' issues on the behalf of anyone at Westleigh Park towards Saturday's opposition.

‘I just want to win a game of football, that’s all I want from Saturday, it’s what the players want,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘From my perspective, I just want to win a football match. I’ve got zero interest in Ebbsfleet, zero interest in Dennis Kutrieb, zero interest in anything other than Havant getting a positive result.

‘I’d like to think that Saturday will pass without any issues - certainly from our perspective - we haven’t got any issues walking into the game.

‘Not one person has even spoken about Ebbsfleet, not one, from the chairman (Derek Pope), to the CEO (Stuart Munro), to me. The only thing we’re concentrating on is trying to get a win on Saturday.’

Doswell also made it clear he won't allow a dip in recent results ‘define’ him as a manager, with the Hawks currently on a run of just one victory in 13 matches across all competitions.

The former Sutton boss led the U's to two promotions during his 11-year spell with the Gander Green Lane outfit, taking them to National League level, as well an FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Premier League giants Arsenal in February 2017.

Doswell added: ‘If everything was a given in football, everything was easy, everyone would be a football manager.

‘The easiest thing in the world, when things are going wrong, is to criticise. I get that, I understand that, that’s part of being in football management.

‘I’ve lasted 1,400 games so I’m not going to let those past 13 games - that won’t define me as a football manager, that’s for sure.’

Hawks remain without both Paul Rooney and Guy Hollis, who are still missing with ankle problems. Meanwhile, Oscar Gobern is a doubt to face Ebbsfleet with a broken toe.