Mansfield Town can now press reset and move forward believes Oli Hawkins

Oli Hawkins believes Mansfield Town can now press reset on their promotion drive after two fine draws ended the run of four defeats.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 3:47 pm
Oli Hawkins celebrates a goal. Pic by Chris Holloway.

Striker Hawkins was drafted into central defence for Saturday's battling 0-0 draw at Leyton Orient and said: “After the two draws we have now just got to start the season again and start getting some wins.

“The point last Saturday gives us a bit of momentum to go on and start getting some wins.

“It is a stepping stone and we now go into two big home games, games we can definitely win, and in two or three weeks time with two wins, we'll probably be sitting in the top 10.

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“Momentum will have changed, confidence will have changed and we will not worry as much.”

He added: “It's still very early in the season.

“We have been unlucky with results, with refs' decisions, with injuries, but two or three wins puts you straight back into the top five.

“We have a squad and a team capable of being up there and getting promoted. We are just waiting for that click of everything coming together. Then we could be flying.

“If we can have a good run and get the balance right between scoring and conceding it will put us up there. That is key.”

On opponents Barrow, he said: “I played against them in non-league – it's not a nice place to go. And I saw them against Villa in the cup this season.

“They've got a few lively players up front. They do a good job and it will be a tough game.

“But it's about ourselves and how we adapt to the game. If we can start on the front foot like we did the first few games of the season, we'll get the crowd going and it will be a lively game and we'll come out on top.

“We are going into it on the back of clean sheet knowing we are capable of scoring goals and keeping a clean sheet.

“At home it's a real advantage with our fans and how loud they are to get us going. We just need to give them a result now this Saturday and the following Saturday and get us up that league.

“It's big having two home games after last Saturday's result, giving us great momentum.”

Hawkins has not trained this week with a back issue, but believes he will be fit to play, whether up front or at the back.

He said: “It has been causing a few problems the last few weeks but nothing serious. It is manageable and it's just about making the right decisions. I hope to get a couple of sessions in this week.

“Before that it will be rest, a bit of exercise and a few stretches and work on it to strengthen it up a bit for the weekend.”