Pope: Bradbury's job is safe

Hawks chairman Derek Pope insists there is no reason to panic despite the serious threat of relegation hanging over the club.

Tuesday, 26th January 2016, 8:00 am
Lee Bradbury, right, with Hawks assistant manager Shaun Gale

A 1-0 win over fellow National League South strugglers Basingstoke Town lifted the Westleigh Park side off the bottom of the league table at the weekend.

Another home victory tonight against Bishop’s Stortford (7.45pm) will take the Hawks out of the bottom three.

Lee Bradbury’s outfit have struggled this season but, at a time when managerial sackings are at an all-time high, Pope continues to buck the trend.

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Even though results have been massively disappointing, the chairman doesn’t believe a change of boss is the answer.

As far as he and the board of directors are concerned, Bradbury remains the man to take the club forward.

‘There is no need to panic and I have every confidence we will get ourselves out of this position,’ said Pope.

‘We know what a great job Lee Bradbury is doing for the club and how well respected he is in the game.

‘He is professional in everything he does and is a good ambassador for the club.

‘We may not be getting the results on the pitch but he has had a massive number of injuries to deal with.

‘Losing our two centre-halves on the eve of the season didn’t help, but Lee will be the first to admit that he has made some mistakes.

‘Some of the players he brought in have not done it for him.

‘We all make mistakes and that is part of life and particularly football.

‘It’s not just down to Lee Bradbury. We are all in it together – the manager, the board and the players.

‘None of us want to be where we are in the league at the moment and Lee probably loses the most sleep over it.

‘Managers sometimes need to be given time to turn things around.

‘He has given us two good seasons and we are sure he will bounce back.

‘There are plenty of people queuing up for our manager’s job and last time we had over 80 applicants.

‘The job, however, is not up for grabs.

‘Some of the supporters might not see it our way and they are entitled to their opinion.’

The Hawks have been at National League South level since it’s inception in 2004-2005, and relegation would prove a bitter pill to swallow.

Pope is philosophical about the possibility, though he doesn’t think it will come to that.

‘Football is full of ups and downs and this season it is our turn to suffer a downturn.

‘This league is getting tougher every year with some clubs spending more and more money.

‘We are not prepared to do that and make sure we run the club within our means.

‘If we did go down it wouldn’t be the end of the world and would be in a good position to go back up again.

‘I am sure we will turn it around and it won’t come to that.’

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Whatmough, Hill, Cummings, Stock, Donnelly, Ciardini, Lewis, Paterson, Mullings, Swallow, Morgan, Molyneaux, Dutton, Thomson, Hayter, Medway