Bradbury: We won’t run out of steam

Nigel Atangana. Picture: Dave Haines
Nigel Atangana. Picture: Dave Haines
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Lee Bradbury insists the tank is far from empty as the Hawks continue their gruelling finale to the Skrill South season.

Tonight’s showdown against Weston-super-Mare at Woodspring Park (7.45pm) will be their fourth in seven days.

It has been a punishing schedule but Bradbury and his team have come through it so far with flying colours.

They have forced themselves into the play-off places – two points ahead of closest rivals Dover Athletic with a game in hand.

However, there were signs in the 1-1 draw against Boreham Wood on Wednesday the schedule was starting to take its toll.

The home side lacked their usual vitality and energy and were happy to come away with a share of the spoils.

Bradbury is adamant his team can regroup and believes there is more to come.

‘It has been hard work and we are all tired,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘What we have had to endure would have been difficult for a full-time side, let alone part-time.

‘Our players have to fit all the travelling and games around work commitments and it isn’t easy.

‘Though our energy levels dropped a little in the last game, I am sure we can lift that back up.

‘Weston is a long journey but we will approach it in the right manner.

‘We’ll have a pre-match meal in a hotel and go for a walk along the sea-front beforehand.

‘That hopefully we help us focus and give ourselves the best chance of success.’

With games coming thick and fast, it is not surprising the Hawks have started to pick up injuries.

Both midfield playmaker Nigel Atangana and powerful striker Dennis Oli are doubts for tonight’s game.

Oli had to come off at half-time against Boreham Wood, while Atangana was missing with a suspected broken foot.

A scan has since shown nothing was broken.

‘They are both key players and we would like to have them fit for the final week of the season,’ said Bradbury.

With just four games left, the Hawks face a massive final week in their bid to reach the play-offs.

League leaders Eastleigh are at Westleigh Park on Easter Monday for a huge derby, before the Hawks welcome relegation-battling Maidenhead to the south coast 48 hours later.

Bradbury’s team then end the regular season with a visit to another struggling outfit – Tonbridge Angels.

‘Our target is to go into the final game at least with our fate in our own hands,’ said Bradbury.

‘A point or three from Weston will help keep the pressure on Dover, who I am sure would rather be in our position.

‘The aim is to return back along the M4 with something from the game.

‘We know if we match Dover’s results in the final week it will get us to where we want to be.’

HAWKS (from): Buchel, Strugnell, Woodford, Monteiro, Harris, Blanchett, Cummings, Ryan, Donnelly, Ciardini, Nanetti, Kabba, Bassele, Newton, Jones, Hutchinson, Przespolewski, Atangana, Oli, Ramsey