Havant & Waterlooville parting company with Lee Bradbury ‘not ideal’ but Shaun Gale calls on players to win final two games for ‘gaffer’
Shaun Gale admits it will be a difficult situation as he takes charge of the Hawks in their their final two games of the season after the club parted company with manager Lee Bradbury on Easter Monday.
It is going to be tough for everyone who has been working closely with the boss in recent seasons.
Bradbury left the club by mutual consent hours after the 2-0 defeat at Aldershot Town.
Gale revealed the players have been shocked by the shock decision.
He will take responsibility for tonight’s Hampshire Senior Cup final against Basingstoke Town at Eastleigh (7.45pm) and he will also oversee their final league game against Barnet at Westleigh Park on Saturday (12.30pm).
Chairman Derek Pope approached Gale who admits he only accepted after speaking with Bradbury.
Gale said: ‘It is a very difficult thing to do because Lee is a very good friend and I have enjoyed working with him.
‘It isn’t ideal with two games left to play but the decision was made by the board.
‘What Lee has achieved at the club has been unbelievable and it is never nice to see people leave.
‘Now we all want to go out and win the last two games for the gaffer. We feel we owe it to everyone to do that.
‘It will also be a little strange for the players who have been shocked by the decision.
‘Lee was hugely popular among the players and he brought a lot of them to the club.
‘A lot of them have been in touch and are all gutted.
‘As a group they will want to finish the season as strongly as possible.
‘I know they care and will want to go out and show it.
‘We still have ambitions to beat Barnet and regain the fourth from bottom spot.’
Gale also feels the players will want to respond in the right away after their poor performance at Aldershot.
That defeat left the Hawks with just one win in their past 15 games.
Recent performances have not been helped by a spate of injuries to key players.
Gale admits having to play tonight’s cup final is far from ideal.
He added: ‘It is a nightmare and a game we could really do without.
‘With the current injury situation we might not be able to field a bench.
‘Ideally we should be focusing on our final league game.
‘We will field a team and hopefully defend our title against a tough Basingstoke side.’
Theo Lewis is definitely ruled out with a calf injury and the Hawks will be concerned about Wes Fogden, who took a nasty knock on Monday.
Matt Paterson and Jordan Rose are also unlikely to feature.