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Interviews

Hawkins | "I am enjoying being back"

Gills striker wants to help the team as much as he can following return from injury.

13 January 2024

Interviews

Hawkins | "I am enjoying being back"

Gills striker wants to help the team as much as he can following return from injury.

13 January 2024

Striker keen to contribute as much as possible having returned from a long-term injury.

At one stage of the season Oli Hawkins didn't know if he would kick another ball for the Gills this campaign, now he is hoping the team can challenge for a play-off place.
 
Hawkins, who recently battled back from a serious heel injury that he picked up in pre-season, admitted that it was a very dark time whilst sidelined, but he is desperate to make up for lost time with a win over Accrington. If the Gills do pick up maximum points it would make it three league victories on the bounce for the boys in blue, with the Hawk certainly playing his part.
 
"I missed playing whilst I was out injured," confessed the striker. "There really is no better feeling than when you are playing football. 
 
"I felt away from the team when I was injured, a lot of the time they are travelling to games and I'm not there, I've got to train on Saturday morning when they are away playing. I was by myself a lot of the time because I was, at some points, the only injured player. It was mentally tough.
 
"There were times when I didn't see how I could play again. When I was out, I had specialists telling me it could be a year, two years, it could be three weeks, it could be two months, it could be anything. You could wake up and it's gone. It's not gone for me yet, but I did what the experts said and I'm happy to be back playing. 
 
"I'm not sure how I did it, in the summer I might have worn a certain shoe, or done a certain thing, and once I came into training and put on a new pair of boots and done a straight line run, I've damaged it. 
 
"In the pre-season games I just knew there was something wrong with my foot and in Como I realised it was really, truly bad. It felt like I was walking with a stone in my shoe. I couldn't get rid of that tearing feeling when I was about to run. I couldn't play with that feeling and that feeling lasted for four or five months.
 
"I'm looking forward to Accrington now, that is one thing I couldn't wait for, going to an away game. The first game I was going to go to was Barrow away but it was called off, I was gutted. I'm just enjoying being back, I feel like I've come back to a different system.
 
"With the new formation we are playing, you need four quality strikers, and we have four different strikers. At the moment it is down to what the manager wants and feels he needs to play, but we are all ready and all in training and doing really well. Whoever is called upon, it's their job to give it their all. It's very healthy having four fit strikers. We all want to play and look forward to the fight.
 
"I have been to Accrington a few times in my career and it's always a tough place, it always seems windy, wet and rainy and a real tough place to go. I think I scored the last time I went there, so hopefully that is a good omen. We know it is going to be a tough game and they are doing okay in the league, we just need to prepare ourselves right and be ready.
 
"We have the squad to get promoted. The automatics might not look on but the play-offs certainly look on and, who knows, a good run might see us do it. We need a good end to the season now. It's a vital time of the season. If we can keep getting those wins on the board then it will really put us in a good position to kick on."

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