Gale backed to get Hawks out of ‘stinker’

Derek Pope. Picture: Dave Haines
Derek Pope. Picture: Dave Haines
Moneys boss Dave Carter. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Hawks chairman Derek Pope admits its crisis time at Westleigh Park but he is refusing to panic.

The struggling outfit are just two points above the Blue Square Bet South relegation zone after Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Sutton United.

Manager Shaun Gale has come under intense pressure, with fans recently calling for him to be sacked, but Pope reckons the players must shoulder much of the blame for a ‘stinker’ of a season.

And he – along with the board – have backed Gale to turn things around.

‘The board have had a meeting and, at the moment, we are sticking with what we have got,’ said the chairman.

‘Shaun has been in football long enough to know his job is at risk.

‘But we want to try and give him as long as possible because he is working hard to get it right.

‘He is frustrated and so are we. It is a huge dilemma and we have to ask ourselves whether it is right to make change at this time.

‘At the moment, we have faith he can pull things around.

‘There is no time scale involved, no-one knows what is going to happen – it could all change tomorrow.

‘The manager knows he is having a stinker of a season and we are all very disappointed.

‘A number of players brought in during the summer have let him down massively.

‘It is the players we have out there at the moment who have to get us out of this situation.’

Pope accepts the final two months of the season will be difficult.

However, he has hit out at the critics suggesting the board are being idle.

Funds were recently made available for two new players – Joe Dolan and Eddie Hutchinson.

And Pope has called on the fans to rally behind their side.

‘It is vital we stay at this level of football and the present situation is hurting me personally,’ he said.

‘Real supporters will stick behind their team even when things are not going well.

‘At the moment, all we are getting is criticism and people shouting out at us.

‘We will do what we feel is best for the club and need everyone to stick together.

‘I am convinced we will pull through it.’