Lambert: Hawkins Gives a Different Dimension, Loan Will Benefit Folami, Simpson Has the Attributes
Friday, 30th Oct 2020 12:35
Town boss Paul Lambert has been hugely impressed with striker Oli Hawkins’s contribution since he joined the club, despite the lack of a goal up to now, and says Ben Folami will benefit from his loan spell at the Melbourne Victory in his native Australia and believes Tyreece Simpson has the attributes to be a first-team player of the future.
Lambert admits Hawkins, who signed on a free transfer after leaving Portsmouth over the summer, needs to open his goals account but says the 6ft 5in tall frontman brings more to the side than some people credit him for.
“He does, but what he does for the team is incredible,” he said. “He brings people into the game, he gives a different dimension.
“He’s a top bloke. I’m absolutely delighted with how he’s playing, he gives us incredible options there.
“Hopefully his goal will come for him, but as for the way he’s playing and his general hold-up, it’s terrific.”
Has he been surprised by what a good player the 28-year-old is? “Not really because I’d seen him a few years ago and I knew he was a handful then.
“I think people naively look at his height and think he’s just going to be good in the air. He’s not, he’s actually really good with his feet and that’s the biggest thing for me.
“He’s fitted in really well, with the ball at his feet and his hold-up play, he’s really, really good, so I’m really happy with him.”
On Thursday, 21-year-old Australian U23 international striker Folami completed his move to A-League side Victory.
Asked whether Folami still has a chance of making it with Town, Lambert said: “It’ll depend on him. To get into the first team you have to perform every single week, every single week, game after game, training.
“You can’t be inconsistent or else you’re never going to get to where you’re going to get to.
“He’s got a lot of hard work in front of him, but I think the loan move will do him the world of good.”
Tyreece Simpson has been on the bench in recent games and came on as a last-minute sub in the 2-0 victory over Accrington, his fourth League One sub appearance in addition to one start and another game from the bench in the EFL Trophy.
Does Lambert see the 18-year-old as a first-teamer of the future? “He’s got the strength, he’s got the attributes, he’s got a good touch, he’s pretty quick, Tyreece, deceivingly quick.
“Nobody knows being so young whether he can step up. One or two games fleetingly, he can do it, but doing in week in, week out, that’s where the big decision will lie with him. But he’s done well.”
Photos: Matchday Images
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