Hawks boss Lee Bradbury has challenged his players to end their Blue Square Bet South season on a winning note against Boreham Wood tomorrow (3pm).
The Westleigh Park manager is demanding a reaction from his troops after their 5-1 mauling at the hands of Salisbury City at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium last weekend.
Bradbury claimed his side were simply ‘going through the motions’ after their play-off hopes petered out without ever threatening to break into the top five.
And he expects a huge improvement from his players as they bring their season to a close on home soil.
‘The players know they let themselves and everyone at the club down in the last game,’ said Bradbury.
‘I won’t have players just going through the motions like that.
‘They know that and I am looking for a positive reaction from them.
‘It was totally out of character for us because the players have been an honest group all season.
‘They lapsed in their application and concentration and were punished for it.
‘The most disappointing thing for me was conceding five goals which is something we have not looked like doing since I have been here.
‘The manner in which we gave the goals away was poor.’
The out-of-sorts Hawks were given a complete run around by Salisbury and could easily have lost by more.
The manager accused his players of giving their play-off-bound hosts too much respect.
Bradbury will be impressing on his squad the importance of finishing the season with a win.
His players have improved in all areas since he replaced Stuart Ritchie at the helm in October, introducing a higher level of professionalism and discipline.
In a matter of a few months, Bradbury transformed the team from a relegation-battling outfit into one that just failed in it’s attempts to seriously challenge for the play-offs.
The fact they got so close is a credit to the side.
With that in mind, Bradbury doesn’t want the Hawks to end the season with two consecutive defeats.
‘We want to go into the summer break buoyant and full of confidence,’ he said.
‘That will be difficult to do on the back of two defeats.
‘We have one final chance to get last week out of our system.
‘Completing a league double over Boreham Wood would be the perfect send-off for us.’
Bradbury has enjoyed his first season at Westleigh Park and admits it has been a steep learning curve for all involved.
He has discovered there is little to choose between the teams at the top and bottom of the Blue Square Bet South table.
Bradbury knows all teams are capable of beating their rivals but reckons the key to getting out of the league is consistency.
‘If you look at teams like Welling and Salisbury they have been consistent throughout the season,’ said Bradbury.
‘Any team that can work hard and is organised stands a chance of being up at the top end.
‘On the whole we are still a very young squad and a work in progress.
‘They want to learn and do things right and I am sure they will get it right.’
Hawks: Masters, Thomas, Newton, Harris, Strugnell, Gotta, Grant, Ryan, Hutchinson, Ramsey, Arthur, Nanetti, Kabba, Palmer, Bossman, Monteiro, Jones, Weekes