Team comes first for unselfish Portsmouth striker

Team player Oli Hawkins insists he's savouring Pompey victories rather than personal goal hauls.

Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 5:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 5:38 pm
Oli Hawkins. Picture: Andrew Fosker

The towering striker has yet to score this season having been handed six successive league starts ahead of the prolific Brett Pitman.

But Hawkins has impressed with other aspects of his game, weighing in with four assists and producing a man-of-the-match display against Shrewsbury last weekend.

Inevitably, any forward's contribution will largely be judged by his goal return.

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Last term, his maiden campaign in League One, he netted eight times for Kenny Jackett's men.

Yet this time around, Hawkins is pleased to be able to benefit team success in other ways.

He said: '˜I've started the last six league games and tried my hardest to do as well as I can and score.

'˜But at the moment I am contributing assists for the team and all I can do is thank them for supporting me.

'˜Sometimes it is quite isolated up there by myself, all I've got to do is win a foul and run into the channels and I thought I did well like that against Shrewsbury.

'˜It was unfortunate I didn't have any chances and couldn't get on the end of anything. It was frustrating in that part but I'm happy I showed I'm strong and can still cause defenders some problems.

'˜It's a confidence boost that the manager has faith in me, even though in these leagues if you don't score you always fear for your place next week.

'˜At the moment the manager is going on the way I am playing and, as much as I want to score, I'm happy doing well for the team in all areas and contributing as much as I can for the wins.

'˜In my first few games I might have had a couple of chances and, while you like to score, I've assisted. Maybe in the last couple of games that hasn't happened either but I'd like to feel I have contributed.

'˜I just want to do well for the team as best as I can.'

Jackett's preference for Hawkins as the lone striker has relegated Pitman to Pompey's bench of late.

The Blues' skipper replaced Hawkins on 67 minutes against Shrewsbury '“ and netted an 87th-minute leveller from the spot.

And the pair will once again vie for a starting spot at Peterborough on Saturday.

Hawkins added: '˜The ball comes up, I lay it off to someone, who sets someone up.

'˜I still try to feel part of that attack, it's all confidence for me and it's all going well for the team.

'˜It's only going to be one-way for me and that's to keep getting better , to score, assist, help the team. That's what I want to do.'