LEE Bradbury has demanded a reaction from his players as they travel to Maidenhead in the Skrill South tomorrow (3pm).
The Hawks go into the game with Tuesday night’s disappointing FA Cup replay exit at the hands of Gloucester City at Westleigh Park still fresh in the memory.
And with just two league wins to their name all season – of which none have arrived on their travels – Bradbury is keen to kick-start a season that has yet to take off.
The manager knows, however, a massive improvement all round from his team will be needed for that to happen.
The Hawks have conceded 13 goals in their past five games and failed to take their chances at the other end.
‘We could do with a pick-me-up and I am looking for a big reaction,’ said Bradbury.
‘It will be another tough game against Maidenhead but we have to make sure that we get back on our game.
‘We need to be more solid and give ourselves more of a chance.
‘At the moment we are shooting ourselves in the foot on too many occasions.
‘Our opponents are not having to work too hard to score against us.
‘That hurts me as a coach and a manager because I know we are capable of a lot better.’
The Hawks’ cause is not helped by the loss of experienced central defender Ed Harris with a damaged ankle.
He is likely to be out for a month – but there is better news on the horizon for goalkeeper Scott Bevan, with the former Bristol Rovers player expected back next weekend.
The giant keeper has missed the past three weeks with a hand injury and has been a big loss.
‘We have missed his presence, experience and organisational skills at the back,’ said Bradbury.
‘In the early games when we kept clean sheets a lot of that was down to his communication.’
Young Crystal Palace loanee goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons is likely to continue this weekend until Bevan’s return.
Meanwhile, up front is where Bradbury will be faced with his most difficult selection headache.
Regular forwards Dennis Oli, Scott Jones and Sahr Kabba have all done well in recent games but loanees Ryan Bird, Jonte Smith and Ashley Harris are all in contention to return.
Harris, on loan from Pompey, has found it difficult to make an impact in his three weeks at the club.
‘It is down to me to make the right choices,’ said Bradbury.
‘Whoever is selected, the piority will be to try to restore some confidence.
‘We have to go back to what got us clean sheets early in the season – hard work, good organisation and desire.’
Hawks: Fitzsimons, Newton, Strugnell, Woodford, Blanchett, Akangara, Ryan, Hutchinson, Monteiro, Nanetti, Ciardini, Oli,
Kabba, Jones, Bird, Harris A, Presepolewski, Smith,