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Hawkins: Hawks Clash A Chance To Impress

Striker on the importance of friendly matches

6 July 2018

Oli Hawkins in training
Photo: Colin Farmery

The result at Westleigh Park on Saturday will have little bearing on what happens during the 2018/19 campaign.

But Oli Hawkins is still looking for Pompey to record a friendly victory over neighbours Havant & Waterlooville.

The Blues face the newly-promoted National League outfit in a contest that has been brought forward to 12.30pm to avoid a World Cup clash.

And Hawkins wants to take the opportunity to impress manager Kenny Jackett ahead of next month’s first competitive fixture.

He said: “You have more of that match fitness every time you play and it’s about getting sharp again for the season ahead.

“It’s a local game and I’m sure there will be a decent crowd in to watch, so I’m looking forward to it.

"All players have got to take the chance to step up and show what they can contribute."

Oli Hawkins

“The gaffer is drumming into us that we need a winning habit, so even though friendlies aren’t always the most exciting, we want a positive result.

“He’ll have an idea in his head about what he wants to do at the start of the season and so all players have got to take the chance to step up and show what they can contribute.

“There are a lot of players competing for the different positions and it’s healthy for a manager to have those choices.

“Everybody’s looking to improve on the previous season and I’m the same. I want to score more goals and help to get this club promoted.”

Pompey have recently returned from a training camp in Ireland and Hawkins felt it was a valuable trip.

He said: “I enjoyed the experience. It was a good week of running, football and getting our fitness levels back up.

“We were lucky with the weather and were staying in a really nice hotel, with lovely food. Now we’re happy to be back and looking to carry on that work back in Portsmouth.”

Like every other England supporter, Hawkins was frustrated when Kieran Trippier failed to keep the ball out of the net in the dying stages of their World Cup clash with Colombia on Monday.

But he was celebrating with the rest of the Pompey squad following the penalty shoot-out triumph and is now figuring out where to watch the next Three Lions contest.

Hawkins said: “I got a bit too much into it and it was stressing me out. It was annoying when the equaliser went in because it was a Spurs player on the line and that’s the team I follow.

“It can be annoying when fans are digging you out for a poor performance, so it’s nice when I get the chance to complain instead!

“I’d like to be around friends, family members or team-mates to watch the Sweden match and hopefully England can get through to the semi-finals.”

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