Renewed optimism throughout Hawks squad as they aim to make it third time lucky against Slough Town this season

Joe Oastler says confidence in the Hawks camp is sky high as they hope a desperately needed victory against Ebbsfleet can prove the catalyst to start a late season play-off charge.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 6:04 pm
Hawks captain Joe Oastler cannot contain his delight after netting in last weekend's win over Ebbsfleet Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks captain Joe Oastler cannot contain his delight after netting in last weekend's win over Ebbsfleet Picture: Dave Haines

But Oastler warned his team-mates not to rest on their laurels ahead of Saturday's trip to face mid-table Slough – a side who they have already lost against twice this season.

Such have been Paul Doswell's side's struggles of late, a morale-boosting triumph last time out was just a second in their past 14 matches.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

But Oastler revealed there had been an 'upbeat' mood around the squad in the past couple of weeks leading into what could prove a crucial win over Ebbsfleet.

And with 13th-placed Hawks still only eight points off the play-off places with 14 games left to play, Oastler explained the squad still have outside hopes of achieving a top-seven finish this term.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Slough, the Hawks captain said: ‘That win Saturday, I think confidence-wise - we knew as a group we’ve got good players - but to go and beat Ebbsfleet 4-2, it just shows that we’re not far off that group (division’s top teams).

‘If we can string a couple of wins together then the table looks a lot healthier and all of a sudden you’re looking onwards - hopefully that can then carry on.

‘To be honest, the past few weeks everyone has been upbeat. We realised as players that we were under-performing, the Dorking game was a big blow (8-0 Boxing Day defeat) - you don’t want to blame it on luck because you earn your own luck in football.

‘We’re not a million miles away from it still, even though we only won one in 13 (games). We know we’re going to have go on a bit of a run to get in there (play-off places).

‘To beat Ebbsfleet after the run we’d been on, it just goes to show we’d been working so hard in training, that was a little bit of icing on the cake (beating Ebbsfleet).

‘But now we’ve got to keep pushing on, keep believing we are good enough - because we are - and hopeful we can start going on a little bit of a run - starting at Slough on Saturday.’

The recent record books in meetings against Slough do not make pleasant reading for Hawks, though, as they bid to secure successive league victories for just the second time this season.

Doswell's side have won just one of their previous five outings against the Berkshire side - and they've been beaten by them twice at Westleigh Park already this season in league and FA Trophy clashes.