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Fixture News

The Case For The Defence

Hawkins on switching from attack to the back

29 November 2019

Oli Hawkins
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Oli Hawkins is more used to trying to score goals than keep them out of the net.

But Pompey’s number nine is content with an extended run in the centre of defence if it helps them continue their recent fine form.

He has partnered Christian Burgess at the back in each of the past two games after recovering from a foot injury.

The Blues have won both of them to move within two points of the play-off places and Hawkins is just happy to be in the team.

He said: “I’ve been a centre-forward since turning pro, but have played the odd game at the back when it’s needed.

“The gaffer said he knew I could play there and with injuries and new strikers coming in, I he thought I could have a good stint in defence.

"It’s just about playing games – whether that’s up front or at the back doesn’t really matter."

Oli Hawkins

“But for me it’s just about playing games – whether that’s up front or at the back doesn’t really matter too much.

“It was hard at first because in the back of my head I was wondering why I wasn’t even in contention. I felt a bit discarded.

“But I’ve since had conversations with the manager and he just sees me as a centre-half at this moment of time.”

Pompey will look to build on a four-match winning run when Altrincham visit Fratton Park in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Hawkins said: “We won’t be overconfident because you can’t go into a game thinking that you’ve already won it.

“It’s going to be a tough tie, but we can take confidence from Tuesday night’s game and hopefully get through to the third round.”

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