Hawks boss reveals Christmas wish

Nigel Atangana. Picture: Dave Haines
Nigel Atangana. Picture: Dave Haines
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Lee Bradbury has admitted a new striker is at the top of his Christmas list.

The Hawks manager is determined to boost his squad’s firepower as they bid for glory on three fronts.

The next few weeks promise to be a hectic time for the Westleigh Park club.

They are only eight points adrift of the Skrill South play-off spots and have reached the last 16 of the FA Trophy and quarter-finals of the Hampshire Senior Cup.

And Bradbury reckons extra options in the final third are key to challenging for honours.

‘We have got three good strikers in Dennis Oli, Sahr Kabba and Scott Jones,’ he said.

‘But if one of them picks up an injury it will cause us problems.

‘I am looking at bringing in another forward on loan to give us a bit more strength in depth.’

Kabba is the Hawks’ leading scorer with seven league goals – and Scott Jones has recently started to find the net regularly.

Oli, though doing an excellent job as a big target man, is not a prolific goalscorer and Bradbury is well aware of that.

‘We have created a lot of chances up front but the strikers have not converted them,’ said Bradbury

‘They will be their own biggest critics.’

He knows, however, if his team are to maintain a realistic push for the play-offs the strikers need to deliver.

Bradbury is relatively pleased with his squad as they approach the half-way mark of the season.

He still believes there is a lot more to come from the blend of youth and experience he has in the team.

‘We have slowly become more consistent as the season has gone on,’ said the former Pompey hitman.

‘My aim has always been to be in touch of the play-offs at Christmas time and we are.

‘We are nine points off fourth with a game in hand.

‘The next few games are so important because they could put us right up there in the play-offs or in the bottom six.’

It has taken Bradbury a while to discover his best team.

After a promising start to the season the Hawks had a shaky spell, losing four out of five league games.

They also suffered a disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Gloucester City.

The arrival of French midfielder Nigel Atangana has made a big difference, though – along with the regular inclusion of Pedro Monteiro in the heart of the defence.

Monteiro has given the Hawks a greater degree of composure at the back, while Atangana is proving a class act in the middle of the pitch.

‘We had a poor spell when we had a few bodies missing and things went against us a little bit,’ said Bradbury.

‘Every team suffers like that at some stage in the season and hopefully that was ours.

‘Recently we’ve looked a lot stronger defensively and more competitive in midfield.

‘We have to keep the belief, keep working hard and come out of the holiday period in good shape.’