Bradbury: Hawks have quality to trouble Pompey

Kal Naismith in action for Pompey against the Hawks. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith in action for Pompey against the Hawks. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin scored a late consolation goal for Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

IN PICTURES: The best images of Stevenage v Pompey

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Lee Bradbury has urged the Hawks to give a good account of themselves in their showpiece pre-season friendly against Pompey at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).

The hosts haven’t beaten the Blues in the regular warm-up fixture since 2006.

The Hawks are preparing for life in National League South after winning Ryman League premier division last season.

Bradbury is expecting a tough test against last season’s League Two champions and expects his side to play the majority of the match without the ball.

However, the Hawks boss insists his outfit have the quality to cause Kenny Jackett’s men problems when they are in possession.

Bradbury said: ‘We have to be prepared to work hard.

‘It is a game where you would expect Portsmouth to have the lions share of the possession.

‘When we do get the ball, it will be vital we look after it.

‘If we don’t, then we will find Portsmouth coming straight back at us.

‘It is a great experience for my players and an important part of our pre-season preparations.

‘We have an opportunity to work on our decision-making when we don’t have the ball.

‘At the same time, we have the quality in our team to cause them problems when we have possession.

‘The pitch is in fantastic condition – probably the best it’s been since I have been at the club.

‘This will allow both teams to get the ball down and play their football.

‘I think the game has all the makings of a good spectacle.

‘There is usually a fantastic atmosphere at this game every year, but it will be even better this time with the two buoyant clubs celebrating title successes.’

The Hawks warmed up for their clash against Pompey with a victory at Wessex League premier division side Newport on Wednesday.

Former Pompey striker Matt Tubbs was absent for the Hawks at St Georges Park with a twinge in his back.

The 32-year-old may also miss the Blues’ visit to Westleigh Park.

Captain Brian Stock is working his way back to full fitness after picking up a knee injury in the final 
league game of last season at Kingstonian.

Meanwhile, George Barker looks likely to leave the Hawks after turning down a new contract.

‘I offered George a contract but he hasn’t taken it,’ the Westleigh Park boss added.

‘We will keep monitoring the situation.’

Triallists Kaleem Haitham and Hayoto Yokota both featured in the game at Newport and are in line to play against Pompey.

The latter was on the mark for Bradbury’s side at St Georges Park.