Hawkins keen to lead Daggers’ charge
17:00 19 February 2016
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New Dagenham & Redbridge hopes to fire team to safety, starting at Mansfield
Dagenham & Redbridge take their survival battle on the road this weekend as they travel to Mansfield Town and Oliver Hawkins hopes that sparks a return to winning ways.
The Victoria Road club are without a win in their last five games in the league, with their last success coming at Exeter City on January 2.
That means Hawkins, who joined the club in January, is yet to end a game as a Dagger on the winning side.
But the striker, who made his first start for his new club last weekend, is hopeful he can end that run at the Stags.
“At home, teams seem to sit back and try to break you down. When you play away, it’s the other way around,” he said.
“We go to attack rather than sit in, there’s more chances away from home which I think will help us.
“I’ve only been here a short time, but we start out the blocks quickly away from home so I think we can go there and get a win.”
Something that will surely boost Hawkins’ confidence and that of his team mates is that of the teams pushing for the play-offs, Mansfield have one of the worst defences.
In 32 games this season, the Stags have conceded 37 goals and shipped three at Plymouth Argyle last time out.
And with Hawkins still looking for his first goal with his new club, the striker hopes Daggers can use that statistic to their advantage.
“We’ll look during training in the week at what their weaknesses are and if I start again, hopefully we’ll get the points. I’m looking forward to getting my first league goal as well,” he added.
Another aspect of Mansfield play that will surely be of interest to Daggers is their discipline, which could be described as misplaced at times.
Centre back Ryan Tafazoli is one to have made a few referees busy this season with five bookings, but Hawkins is looking forward to any potential tussle.
“The last two games I’ve played have been against big centre backs so I’m used to it. Bring it on, if they want a battle with me we can have a battle.”