Ipswich boss Paul Lambert hails ex-Portsmouth striker Oli Hawkins as Blues wait to hear extent of Ellis Harrison injury

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has hailed the impact made by Oli Hawkins following his arrival on a free transfer from Pompey.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 11:37 am
Updated Monday, 19th October 2020, 11:57 am

The Blues parted company with the towering forward – and fellow striker Brett Pitman – in the summer following three years at Fratton Park.

In that time he registered 18 goals in 96 appearances – including the winning penalty in the 2019 Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland.

But it was not enough to convince manager Kenny Jackett to offer the former Dagenham striker a new Fratton Park deal.

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Since then, though, Hawkins has impressed for new club Ipswich, who proudly sit top of the League One table.

He’s yet to get off the mark for the Tractor Boys in the six games he’s played since his Pompey departure.

Nevertheless, Lambert is delighted with how the 28-year-old has settled in and his general play as Ipswich remain unbeaten in the league this season.

Oli Hawkins in action for new club Ipswich against Fulham. Picture: Will Oliver - Pool/Getty Images

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s 2-0 win against Accrington – a game Hawkins missed because of injury – the manager told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘Big Oli has been brilliant.

‘He’s a really good guy and has fitted in so well, both on and off the pitch.

‘He’s given us a totally different option to what we had.

‘His general game has been fantastic. I’ve been absolutely delighted with him.’

‘Oli will want to score, because that’s his goal.

‘But he’s setting people up, which is great. The way he brings people into the game, his general movement, his hold-up play – it’s great.

‘I do think the goals will come for him. Against Rochdale he could have had a hat-trick.’

Pompey failed to replace either Hawkins or Pitman during the transfer window, with Jackett happy to rely on John Marquis and Ellis Harrison, plus the versatility offered by both Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness, for the season ahead.

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However, an injury to Harrison is Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Doncaster leaves the Blues, who have netted seven goals in six League One outing this term. short in that department.

The former Bristol Rovers and Ipswich front man limped out of the action in the second half against Donny with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

The extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed, with the Blues due to travel to Gillingham tomorrow night before heading to Sunderland on Saturday.

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