Stock: Passion key to Hawks bid

Hawks midfielder Brian Stock, right Picture: Paul Jacobs
Hawks midfielder Brian Stock, right Picture: Paul Jacobs
Have your say

Experienced captain Brian Stock insists the Hawks must maintain their passion and desire if they are to continue their climb up the league table.

After eight games without a Vanarama National League South win, the Westleigh Park side have bounced back by beating two of the top sides in recent days.

Oxford City and then Maidenhead United were put to the sword, suggesting that the Hawks might just be turning their season around.

At the start of the campaign, Lee Bradbury’s team were touted as one of the favourites for promotion.

They were expected to build on last term’s play-off semi-final place, but the start of the season was dogged by injuries and poor results.

Their ambitions looked to be slipping away at a rapid rate of knots, particularly after the 4-1 defeat at Margate two weekends ago.

It wasn’t the first time this term that the Hawks folded like a pack of cards after conceding a goal.

But Stock believes the introduction of a couple of new faces has re-energised the side.

‘We have to look at Margate and see that as a turning point,’ said Stock.

‘Everyone was disappointed and after it the gaffer brought in a couple of new faces.

‘They have done very well and it has rustled a few feathers.

‘In the last two games we have shown the passion and desire that hadn’t always been there in some games.

‘The two results we got shows just what can happen when you roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

‘Because of it we are six points better off.

‘It isn’t just a question of belief because I believe that has always been there.

‘Our confidence might have been a little low but it has now been given a big boost.’

It was particularly difficult against Maidenhead on Saturday, when it would have been quite easy to use the horrendous conditions as an excuse.

Even falling a goal behind didn’t dent the Hawks’ belief and they hit back to win well.

The new loan pair of Theo Lewis and Godfrey Poku provided the side with an energy in midfield which has had been lacking this season.

Now Stock is convinced the Hawks can push on between now and Christmas.

‘I believe we should be one of the top six sides in our league,’ he added.

‘There is no reason why we can’t still achieve our play-off ambitions.

‘That is still our target.

‘The last two games have shown that we have the ability to hurt teams.

‘I feel we have started to turn the corner in the last week and now we must look to maintain that.’

The Hawks have been handed a Hampshire derby in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy, with Basingstoke Town visiting Westleigh Park on Saturday, November 28.

Bognor play host to Bath City.