What Oli Hawkins wants his Portsmouth critics to know heading into business end of the season

Oli Hawkins has told his Pompey critics: Don't just judge me on my goalscoring ability.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:19 am

The striker knows his remit is far more than just putting the ball in the back of the net when he features.

Hawkins is someone who often divides opinion among the Fratton faithful, with his finishing particularly scrutinised.

Last season, he operated as the Blues’ first-choice striker for the majority of the campaign and netted 10 times in 48 appearances during the failed League One promotion bid.

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The summer arrivals of John Marquis and Ellis Harrison have pushed Hawkins down the pecking order this term.

Injuries have also limited him to only 10 appearances and no goal so far.

After making an impact off the bench in the 3-2 EFL Trophy victory over Exeter on Tuesday, Hawkins is now hoping to more regular opportunities during the business end of the Championship charge.

Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

And should that happen, the former Dagenham hitman knows he can make an impact.

He said: ‘All I really want people to know is that I am capable and I don't want to be judged on my goalscoring ability.

‘I do see a lot of negatives and people thinking that I’m not able to do it.

‘But I know for a fact that last season I was there and 90 per cent of the time I did lead the line.

‘We had a decent-enough season. During the second half of the season, I had a few injuries and there was a bit more competition with Omar Bogle and James Vaughan coming in.

‘It was a bit more difficult for the manager to find the right partnership.

‘This season, I was looking for people to give me the same respect. I can't really argue with Ellis or John playing because they've done well and so have the team.

‘All I can do is be patient and when nights like Tuesday come, remind people I can still do it and I am needed in this promotion push.’