‘The first one is always the hardest to get’ - Hawkins confident more goals will come after Crewe winner
PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 02 November 2020
Oli Hawkins is confident the goals will start to flow now he’s finally off the mark for Ipswich Town.
The former Portsmouth man was the difference-maker for the Blues as he towered above Crewe defender Omar Beckles to head home the winner just past the hour on Saturday, with his first goal coming in his 10th appearance for the club. The goal encapsulated what the 28-year-old is all about and, with the pressure now lifted, Hawkins is hopeful of doing it more regularly for his new club.
“As a striker, when the first goal goes in it’s such a relief and thankfully for me today I managed to get off the mark,” he said.
“In the last four or five games, not getting my first goal, it felt like it wasn’t going to go in. The first one is always the hardest to get so if I kept sticking at what I was good at and by sticking at that back post, with the quality we have I would always be able to score.
“During my career I’ve always seen myself as a back stick player who can arrive and get on top of defenders to try and score. I like any kind of cross but I’ll aim to be at the back stick. (Alan) Judgey’s ball in was brilliant today with some quick thinking from a corner and with the quality we have in our team hopefully more will come.
“The first one is the pressure one so now I’ve got it, that pressure is gone. I’ll focus on playing my game and being a real threat up there, but knowing I have a goal behind me means I can relax a bit more and keeping doing what I need to do.”
Hawkins admitted his role as the lone striker in this Ipswich side is different to how he’s played for most of his career, given how much of the ball he sees at his feet rather than to his head, but he’s enjoying learning a new style of play.
“It’s different to what I’m used to but we’re a football team with really good quality,” he said.
“There’s a lot of stuff I still need to learn here but I’m going to keep on doing that. I’m maybe used to the ball coming up to my neck or my chest but here it’s a lot more to feet, so that’s what I need to keep working on and better myself.”
The striker admitted Ipswich were far from their best in this game, with Crewe playing the better football and dominating long spells, but the forward believes the fact they were able to come out with three points is a good sign as Town look to win promotion this season.
“In the first half everyone could see we struggled and they put it on us with a dominant performance, but we knew in the second half we had to come out and play much better, which I think we did.
“I didn’t feel like we were at our best today but for teams looking for titles and promotions you need to be able to slog and fight to sometimes come out of games with 1-0 wins.
“If you want to get promoted you have to make sure your home form is strong and you don’t really concede or lose games.
“That’s what we’re going to try and do. We haven’t conceded at home in the league and we’re going to try and keep that going.
“It’s been an impressive run and in a promotion-winning side you need a big squad and you need players in every position, fighting to get into the side. If we can keep that up then we’ll be ok.”
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