Bradbury has quickly made an impression

Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

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Lee Bradbury is the man to get the Hawks surging up the Blue Square Bet South table.

That’s the verdict of chairman Derek Pope who has been delighted with Bradbury’s work in his short time in charge.

Pope has also resolved to help Bradbury freshen up the squad with new faces but warned numbers at Westleigh Park must be trimmed first.

‘We have got to cut our squad because we originally budgeted for 18 players,’ said Pope.

‘A few of our current players won’t be featuring in the future plans as we start a rebuilding process.

‘This is the situation Lee has inherited and he is determined to build a side that will compete at this level.

‘We have all been impressed with him and have no doubts that he will get it sorted.

‘Already the quality of training has improved and the players are getting fitter.

‘We know the present squad isn’t good enough in places and we have to defend better.

‘What you see is what you get with Lee and he is 100 per cent the right guy for us at this club.’

It hasn’t been the easiest of starts, with two defeats in three league games for former Pompey striker Bradbury.

He has given the existing squad a chance to impress but in the next few weeks he expects to bring in some fresh faces.

With 24 players on the books already, that obviously means some will have to go.

‘I have given the current players a fair crack of the whip and I have seen both the positives and the negatives,’ said Bradbury.

‘I have found out what I need to know and hope to add to the squad in the next few weeks.

‘There is a lot of hard work to be done and as a coaching team we are committed to turning things around.

‘We have got some good players at the club and part of it is trying to change their mindset.

‘They had a difficult season last year and are not in a winning frame of mind.

‘All some of them need is a bit more self-belief, direction and discipline.’

Bradbury has refused to be drawn on his priorities to strengthen, believing it would be disrespectful to the current players.

It is obvious, though, from the games played so far that he needs a big strong central defender and a couple of midfield players.

One of those midfielders also needs to be a leader and the sort of player who can dictate games from the middle of the park.

The Hawks are gearing up for an exciting derby clash next month, when they travel to Nyewood Lane to face Bognor.

The teams will meet in the FA Trophy third qualifying round on the weekend of Saturday, November 10.

Bognor have been in outstanding form in cup competitions at home this season.

They booked their place in the third qualifying round with an emphatic 3-0 win over Bridgwater last weekend.

It will be an important game for Bradbury as he bids to bring in some extra funds to bolster his ranks.