Ciardini: Hawks will be out to make fast start

Nic Ciardini, left, is aiming for a fast start tomorrow. Picture: Sarah Standing
Nic Ciardini, left, is aiming for a fast start tomorrow. Picture: Sarah Standing
Wes Fogden drew a good save from the Hampton & Richmond keeper in a rare attempt on goal. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Mixed feelings for Hawks boss after stalemate

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Nic Ciardini insists the Hawks can step their game up for the visit to his former club Farnborough in the Vanarama Conference South tomorrow (3pm).

The attacking wing-back admits the Hawks need to improve as a unit following a disappointing 1-0 home defeat by Bishop’s Stortford.

Lee Bradbury’s men were poor in the first half and Ciardini believes the players have learned their lesson.

He said: ‘We all agreed the opening 45 minutes last week wasn’t good enough,’ said Ciardini.

‘In this league you cannot afford to coast for the first 45 minutes like we did.

‘You will get punished and that is what happened to us.

‘We have to play at a high tempo from the start, put in the effort and earn the right to play our football.

‘For some reason that didn’t happen.

‘We have discussed it and are determined as a squad to move on.

‘I don’t think it will happen again in a hurry.’

Though the Hawks improved in the second half against Bishop’s Stortford, finding the net proved a problem.

When the visitors were put under the cosh, the home side were guilty of missing some clear-cut goalscoring chances.

Josh Huggins, JJ Hooper and Shamir Mullings were all unable to find the net when in good positions.

It’s been the story of the Hawks’ season so far.

‘There is a lot of pressure on the young players up front,’ said Ciardini.

‘As an attacking unit as a whole, we haven’t been great, myself included.

‘We all set ourselves targets at the start of the season and have to work hard to achieve them.’

Against Stortford, Ciardini started to show signs of getting back to his old self after a below-par start to the season.

He started to push forward with confidence after an injury in pre-season left him short of crucial match sharpness.

‘After hurting myself in pre-season, I didn’t feel sharp at the start,’ said Ciardini.

‘I played a couple of games but wasn’t really ready.

‘That was evident with my poor form.

‘I had a talk with Lee Bradbury and he said I needed to be more commanding on the ball to dominate games like I did last season.

‘As a result, I thought I was more positive in the last game and that helped create more chances.’

Ciardini and the Hawks other ex-Farnborough players, Josh Huggins and Scott Donnelly, are expecting a warm welcome from their former team-mates.

Boss Bradbury could be without Ben Swallow, Perry Ryan and Bradley Bubb who are all doubts for the game tomorrow due to injury.

‘It is important for us to go there and produce a 90-minute performance,’ said Ciardini.

‘After last week we want all three points.

‘We know all too well how tough a place it can be and we will have to be focused from the start.

‘Farnborough can be a bit unorthodox at times and we may have to adapt.

‘It is vital that we approach the game in the right manner.’

Hawks: Young, Huggins, Woodford, Dutton, Harris, Blanchett, Ryan, Donnelly, Ciardini, Mullings, Hooper, Swallow, Przespolewski, Cummings, Strugnell, Wedlake, Monteiro, Bubb