Hawks boss warns of compacency

Jesse Kewley-Graham, left, in action for the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
Jesse Kewley-Graham, left, in action for the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
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LEE BRADBURY saluted the Hawks’ added confidence but warned them: Don’t get complacent.

The Westleigh Park side have been beaten just once in their past 11 Blue Square Bet South fixtures.

And after a 5-0 demolition of Billericay Town on Tuesday night, the morale in the squad is on a high.

But while he has been delighted by the Hawks’ rise into 10th place, Bradbury is determined to carry on climbing.

And that means keeping the foot on the gas when they host Maidenhead United tomorrow (3pm).

‘We’re playing with great confidence,’ said Bradbury.

‘But there is a fine line between that and complacency.

‘The players must not make the mistake of thinking it is easy after hammering Billericay.

‘They have to remember it is hard work that has got them here.

‘When we play at a high tempo we look hungry, with all the players knuckling down to do their jobs.

‘It is vital we keep ourselves at it from front to back.

‘If we take our foot off the gas, we will end up getting punished.’

Bradbury this week unveiled the signing of Argentine defender Juan Cruz Gotta.

And while former Pompey striker Bradbury admitted he had one eye on next season when he recruited the centre-back, he is excited about the immediate competition for places his arrival brings.

Cruz Gotta, 22, comes straight into the Hawks squad for the Maidenhead clash.

Skipper Ed Harris and Bournemouth loanee Dan Strugnell have been excellent in the heart of the defence.

But Cruz Gotta’s arrival ensures they will have to stay on their toes – and guard against complacency.

‘Gotta is a good find,’ said Bradbury.

‘Defenders who are comfortable on the ball are hard to come across.

‘At six foot five, he provides a big presence and it is a good opportunity for him and the club.

‘He may find it difficult at first – our defenders have done well.

‘But I am already looking towards next season.’

Bradbury appears to have got the balance right in recent weeks.

The boss has made his side solid at the back, while the high-tempo attacking play they have produced against Dover and Billericay has made them a real threat on the front foot.

Allied to this has been the deadly finishing of Ollie Palmer, who has provided a lethal cutting edge.

There is a feeling in the club that the foundations are being laid for a successful future.

And while he has been pleased with the improvements, Bradbury is experienced enough to know it is still a work in progress. Despite their inconsistency this term, Maidenhead will pose a threat tomorrow.

The Hawks have a slim chance of reaching the play-offs but the Magpies are capable of demolishing those hopes in one fell swoop.

Jesse Kewley-Graham will return to Wycombe Wanderers after the game with his loan deal up.

Meanwhile, Poole Town have failed in a bid to loan Paul Hinshelwood but Bradbury is hopeful the Hawks defender will seal a temporary move soon.

Hawks: Masters, Newton, Harris, Strugnell, Grant, Arthur, Ryan, Ramsey, Nanetti, Kabba, Palmer, Gotta, Hutchinson, Jones, Bossman, Ighorae.