Hawkins: A Season to Forget, Both Individually and Collectively
Thursday, 29th Apr 2021 11:59
Fit-again striker Oli Hawkins was happy to make his long-awaited return to first team action in last week’s goalless home draw with Wimbledon but admits he remains uncertain about his Portman Road future.
Hawkins is not one of the many players approaching the end of their Town contracts with the deal he signed last summer following his release by Portsmouth not due to expire until the end of next season, by which time everyone connected with the club hopes it will be in a lot better shape than it is now.
New manager Paul Cook has promised change – and plenty of it – in the coming weeks and the big striker’s focus right now is on the final three games of the current campaign, at Swindon tomorrow, Shrewsbury on Tuesday and at home to Fleetwood on Saturday week.
Hawkins, who turned 29 earlier this month, said: “I’ve missed a lot of football this season and I’m looking forward to the last three games.
“If I’m selected and I’m in the squad for these games I will be trying my hardest and my best to hopefully score some goals, get some wins and finish the season on a high note.
“Even if the season hasn’t been the success we wanted it to be, we must focus on winning our last three games. That must be high on the agenda.”
Hawkins is also looking to impress manager Paul Cook enough to stay on board in what he believes could be an exciting 2021/22 season, adding: “As a striker you always want to be scoring goals in front of the fans and getting your face on the back of the paper the next day.
“Unfortunately, it’s one of them where we are going to be looking back at this season as one to forget, both individually and collectively. It’s a season to be scrapped and we have to look ahead to next season as our main focus.
“Of course we will be looking to win our last three games and finish the season on a high note but the real excitement comes from looking forward to a time when the fans are back at Portman Road and we are all making a fresh start. That’s all I want, to get that buzz again.”
Does he feel he has done enough for Cook to want him as part of his plans going forward or might he have to think about a second move if the manager deems him to be surplus to requirements?
“I’m just trying to keep fit and to be ready, and if I’m selected I’ll be trying my hardest to do what I can to impress. I hope he likes me and wants me to stick around next year.”
Cook, who has witnessed only two wins from his 13 games in charge, has been brutal in his analysis of recent games and equally critical when assessing players.
He was particularly scathing in his comments about the team after last week’s 0-0 home stalemate with Wimbledon that saw the club make it six games in a row and 619 minutes without a goal, meaning failure to score on Saturday and in the opening five minutes at Shrewsbury on Tuesday will equal a club record of 714 minutes without a goal which has stood since the 1994/95 season.
Hawkins added: “Personally, I don’t read too much about it so I’m not fully aware of what’s been said. But he can only really comment on what he sees in front of him and we, as players, have got to do better.
“We need to try to win every game that comes along but unfortunately that hasn’t happened, so when you put two and two together it’s not blending or mixing at the moment.
“The manager wants to win games, we want to win games, but at the moment we just can’t seem to find the way to do it.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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