Gale: ‘Massively frustrating’ sums up our season

Hawks boss Shaun Gale
Hawks boss Shaun Gale
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Hawks boss Shaun Gale admits he is ‘massively frustrated’ by his side’s failure to make a realistic challenge for the Blue Square South play-offs after they finished the season in ninth place.

At the start of the campaign, Gale felt he had a squad capable of a top-five finish.

But, in the end, the Hawks lacked the quality and fell short of expectations.

‘You can sum the whole season up as massively frustrating,’ said Gale.

After a great pre-season, we looked to hit the ground running but it didn’t happen.

‘We had good spells and produced some outstanding performances but couldn’t achieve any consistency.

‘Another big weakness was our home form where we were nowhere near good enough.

‘Time and time again we would dominate games, particularly at West Leigh Park, and end up coming away with nothing.

‘We didn’t beat any of the top-eight sides at home and you won’t win anything with a record like that.

‘There is an old cliche that a team is only as good as its strikers and ours didn’t score enough goals.

‘We got in to good positions and created a lot of chances but we lacked the killer instinct and ruthless streak to make it count.

‘There wasn’t a single game, though, in which any of our opponents gave us a battering.

‘The closest we came was at Dover and we ended up winning that game 1-0.

‘Away from home we were a lot better and we will need to address our home form for next season.’

Gale believes he already possesses the basis of a squad capable of doing a lot better next season, although he recognises the need to bring in some fresh faces.

The manager is also resigned to some players moving on as he attempts to renegotiate contracts for next season.

In his captain Ian Simpemba, Gale recognises he has a good leader but insists that he needs a few more leaders like him in the squad.

‘Maybe I will need to go in for a couple more senior players who could give us more leadership in the middle of the park,’ said Gale.

‘I have made three offers to players this week and I am awaiting their reply.

‘I am resigned to losing some players and find it difficult to understand when we haven’t achieved anything how some of their agents can be asking for more.

‘We certainly won’t be paying it.

‘Contrary to some rumours, we do not have a big budget, though I still feel it is good enough for us to be competitive and get us out of this league.

‘That is still the target and some fresh blood will help.’