‘Once the first one goes in, hopefully I can start to make my mark’ - Hawkins keen to open Town account
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Striker Oli Hawkins is confident the goals will soon come following a promising first league start for Ipswich Town in the Blues’ 2-0 victory over Rochdale.
The former Portsmouth striker came into the Town side in place of James Norwood and had a succession of first-half chances, with a good header saved and another cleared off the line, while he also saw a left-footed effort bounce away off the outside of the post.
Hawkins is about more than simply scoring goals and was one of Ipswich’s best performers as his clever, calm, link play brought the Town midfielders and wide players into the contest.
But, as a striker, he’s keen to get off the mark himself as soon as possible.
MORE: Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 2-0 home win against Rochdale“As a striker you want to score and as soon as that first goal goes in then you’re relaxed,” he said.
“I see the first goal as being like an initiation song when you join a new club – once you’ve done it you feel really relaxed and comfortable. For me it’s like that with goals because after you score one you can relax and know there are more to come.
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“As long as I can stay patient with it and keep getting in the box and in areas then it will come.
“For me, confidence is a big thing. Once the first one goes in, which is the hardest one, hopefully I can start to make my mark.
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“I was really confident going into this game that I was going to score so when the goalkeeper made the save I couldn’t believe it. Then the left-footed chance hit the post and I thought ‘this might actually be a bit more tricky’.
“As a striker you have to stay patient but the fact I was able to get an assist (for Teddy Bishop) was great because, for me, assists are just as important as goals. I’m happy I was able to do that.”
Hawkins’ biggest contribution saw him play a clever ball inside for Teddy Bishop to score his second goal of the season, with the striker seeing goals from midfielders and wingers as a vital ingredient in the club’s promotion push.
“If you look around the pitch we have a lot of ballers and some really great footballers,” he said.
“For me that’s a positive, to be playing with players like this, so I’ll try my hardest.
“A team who wants to win promotion can’t just rely on one guy or the strikers to score all the goals and you saw that last year with someone like Ivan Toney at Peterborough. He scored loads of goals but, unfortunately, they didn’t get anywhere near it.
MORE: Player ratings - How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 2-0 victory over Rochdale“As a collective team if your striker, wingers and attacking midfielders can get near to double figures then that signals a promotion side.
“None of the strikers have scored yet so you just know the fact players in other positions means the strikers will eventually score. Then you’re laughing.
“The chances are there and we know we will eventually score.”