Havant & Waterlooville will do everything they can to cope with biggest challenge

Lee Bradbury resolved the Hawks will do everything in their power to stay in the Vanarama National League.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 10:25 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:21 pm
The Hawks have missed the experience of Paul Robinson when he has been out injured. Picture: Neil Marshall

The Westleigh Park boss faces a huge task in keeping the part-time outfit out of the relegation places.

Results in the first half of the season have shown just how difficult this will be.

This was emphasised over the Christmas and new year period as the Hawks failed to pick up a win and only collected two points from the 12 on offer.

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The hugely disappointing 3-0 home defeat against Bromley also showed that his squad lacks depth.

A number of players failed to produce the goods when they were given their chance.

Despite all the problems Bradbury is determined to the Hawks at the top table of non-league football.

He said: '˜We knew from the start that this is a tough league.

'˜Now we are just over the half way stage we know even more what to expect.

'˜The players have always given it 100 per cent but at times we have needed a bit more quality.

'˜Recently we have also suffered from a lack of experience in the side.

'˜Here our plans have been knocked aside by injury and other factors.

'˜We had experience through the spine of the team with Paul Robinson, Ed Harris and Brian Stock.

'˜The first two have been injured and Stocky has decided to retire.

'˜In their absence we have looked a bit young and inexperienced.

'˜That was certainly the case against Bromley when we found ourselves overpowered and outmuscled.

'˜It is going to be a dogfight to avoid relegation but that is a challenge we will face head on.'

Apart from a spate of injuries Bradbury's situation hasn't been helped by the club's part-time status.

They and fellow strugglers Braintree Town are the only two part-time outfits in the league.

That plus limited resources puts them at a massive disadvantage.

Bradbury would love to go full-time but accepts that isn't possible at the present time.

If the club do manage to stay up many believe they will go full-time next season.

In the meantime Bradbury is also exploring options of adding greater experience to his squad.

He admits that won't be easy, though.

Bradbury added: '˜Experience costs money.

'˜This is a fantastic league, though, and we want to do everything we can to stay in it.

'˜It will be a good achievement and that is what we are aiming for.'

On Saturday the Hawks face another difficult match.

The Hawks turn their focus back to the FA Trophy in the next week.

On Tuesday night they stage their replay against Dover Athletic at Westleigh Park.

The winners will entertain Harrogate Town in the next round on Saturday.

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