Hawks must avoid complacency

JJ Hooper. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143301-9)
JJ Hooper. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143301-9)
Have your say

Lee Bradbury has warned the Hawks they can’t afford to rest on their laurels ahead of their Vanarama Conference South contest against Sutton United at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

Four wins in their past five league games have taken the Hawks up to fifth in the table, opening up a three-point gap on the chasing pack.

The Hawks also have games in hand on the teams around them so they are in a perfect position to push on.

Bradbury won’t tolerate any complacency, though, and wants his team to maintain their momentum.

‘We are on a good run at the moment and that is the result of hard work,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘The players have been putting it in from front to back.

‘That was evident at Hayes & Yeading where we won 1-0 despite playing almost the whole of the second half with 10 men.

‘We displayed a terrific work-rate and showed lots of endeavour, particularly in the final 20 minutes when Hayes threw the kitchen sink at us.

‘The players showed they were prepared to put their bodies on the line and got their reward in the end.’

Brian Dutton is still ruled out by his calf injury, which means Dan Strugnell will continue to partner Ed Harris in the middle of the back four.

Strugnell was unfortunate to be sent off at Hayes as the last defender and Bradbury has appealed against his dismissal.

Josh Huggins remains at full-back, where he did well after making the switch from midfield last week.

It is up front where Bradbury may consider making changes.

Although the Hawks came away with three points against Hayes, they continued to squander good chances.

Bradley Bubb wasn’t at his best and Bradbury may consider recalling youngster JJ Hooper, who looked lively when he came on as substitute.

Bradbury may also choose to start both his wingers – Nic Ciardini and Ben Swallow.

Sutton United are struggling in the league.

But Bradbury believes they are in a false position.

He added: ‘Sutton will be tough because they have brought in a number of new players recently.

‘They beat Ebbsfleet in their last game.

‘They are better than their league position might suggest.’

United have signed Hawks legend Jamie Collins, who captained the club in the most famous game in their history – when they took on Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup.

Collins joined from Eastleigh and teams up with another former Hawks man, keeper Aaron Howe.

‘It is important we remain at the top of our game if we are to pick up vital points,’ added Bradbury.

‘We have got three big games coming up.

‘It is important that the players continue to do their jobs.’

Hawks: Young, Huggins, Strugnell, Harris, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly, Ciardini, Wright, Bubb, Hooper, Swallow, Ryan, Connell, Mullings, Blanchett