Hawkins: Portsmouth now a team – not individuals

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Match-winner Oli Hawkins toasted the team ethic powering Pompey towards the Championship.

Hawkins marked his 50th Blues game with the decisive goal in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Fleetwood.

Oli Hawkins celebrates victory over Fleetwood. Picture: Joe Pepler

Oli Hawkins celebrates victory over Fleetwood. Picture: Joe Pepler

The 26-year-old did the damage to put Kenny Jackett’s side six points clear at the top of League One.

And the striker believes it’s a selfless attitude among the Pompey squad which is reaping dividends.

That was seen last week as Hawkins told The News he views himself as a squad player.

He was given another start at Fratton Park, however, and delivered a strong showing with his presence to go with his 50th-minute winner.

Hawkins said: ‘I want to do the best I can for the team and I managed to put the header in.

‘I’m there to win first balls and I was lucky enough that I was able to help the team by doing that.

‘I’m happy to be in there, score and be able to contribute.

‘When I’m called upon I’m ready.

‘It’s gone quick for me here. A lot of the game have been off the bench but it’s a good achievement to play 50 games.

‘It’s been a quick year but now I want to focus on this season and get us promoted.

‘Last year it was maybe more about individual players.

‘You had Brett (Pitman) scoring loads of goals.

‘We did well that way but this season each position looks strong.

‘There’s competition everywhere.

‘That’s what you need if you want to win the league.’

Hawkins told of the confidence coursing through the Pompey side as they made it a single defeat in 14 games and ended a run of three league games without success.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge man admitted it was relief to see a return to home comforts at Fratton Park.

Hawkins added: ‘We haven’t done our best at home in the past few games.

‘So it was nice to be able to finally break that run and give the fans a win.

‘Then we heard Peterborough and Barnsley lost so it’s six points clear. That’s good.

‘We need to go again against Burton and keep it going.

‘Everyone’s confident. We’re top of the league and we want to stay there.

‘We’re getting results and getting wins.

‘All the boys look confident in training and games. We look like we want to win games.’

Hawkins was given another attacking partner in the shape of Ronan Curtis against Fleetwood, before a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ben Thompson advanced.

It was an approach which got the job done as attentions turn to Burton Albion’s visit tomorrow.

Hawkins said: ‘We wanted to start the way we started against Wimbledon.

‘We ended up changing it towards the end of the first half.

‘But we are trying to find a way to get the results when teams come here to defend.

‘Pushing Thommo forward helped us in the second half to break forward more.

‘We’re focussed now on Tuesday.

‘After getting a win at Fratton we really want to take that forward.

‘It’s game by game and about not slipping up.’