Bradbury: Hawks players must go easy on the mince pies

Hawks-Eddie Hutchinson in action'These Pictures have Been Taken by Dave Haines and must carry a byline.
Hawks-Eddie Hutchinson in action'These Pictures have Been Taken by Dave Haines and must carry a byline.
Brett Poate

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Hawks boss Lee Bradbury has told his players they need to make sacrifices at Christmas if they want to start climbing the Blue Square Bet South League table.

The Westleigh Park side entertain Bath City tomorrow (3pm) in the first of five crucial games over the holiday period.

Bradbury’s team are just one place and two points above the relegation zone.

But they are also only seven points adrift of the play-off places.

The next five games will go a long way towards deciding the Hawks’ fate for the rest of the season.

Bradbury insists his side are looking up and not down.

But he knows that with 15 points to play for, the festive period will be crucial.

‘We have to be prepared and that means making sacrifices over the Christmas period,’ said Bradbury.

‘Players will need to resist the temptations of the Christmas party atmosphere and the food and drink.

‘They need to make sure they get their sleep and prepare properly for the games.

‘Players make sacrifices all the time but have to be particularly watchful at this time of year.

‘We have a lot of games in a short period of time so I will need the whole squad.

‘It is all about being professional on and off the pitch.

‘We must keep our eye on the ball.’

Last weekend the Hawks crashed out of the FA Trophy, losing 4-0 at Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Grimsby.

They hit back in midweek, with a 3-0 victory over Totton & Eling in the Hampshire Senior Cup.

Scott Jones, Steve Ramsey and Eddie Hutchinson found the back of the net.

But Bradbury and his players know that taking on Bath in the league will be a different kind of test.

It’s going to be vital to make a flying start to the busy holiday schedule and build on their win over Staines in their previous league outing.

‘These are important games coming up,’ said Bradbury.

‘The league is so tight that any side that can put a good run of results together over Christmas can get themselves into contention for the play-off spots.

‘I have been here a couple of months now and have got to know my players and what they are capable of.

‘We had a decent win over Staines last time out in the league from which we can take a lot of positives.

‘I am looking for the players to repeat the level of intensity they showed in that game.

‘There is still half of the season left and our position in the league can change very quickly.

‘A couple of wins would see us grow further in confidence.’

Bradbury has a full-strength squad to choose from, with loan players Dan Butler and Dan Strugnell back in contention after being ineligible for the midweek cup tie.

Hawks: Masters, Butler, Harris, Woodford, Newton, Arthur, Bailey, Ryan, Nanetti, Kabba, Palmer, Ramsey, Taggart, Strugnell, Hutchinson, Jones, Moss.