'I can't explain it... but we've been unlucky a bit' - Hawkins baffled by Town's goal drought
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Striker Oli Hawkins is baffled by Ipswich Town’s struggles in front of goal, admitting he is unsure why his side have such an abysmal record this season.
The Blues have scored just 41 goals in 43 League One games this season, with only Northampton (22nd) and Bristol Rovers (24th, relegated) managing fewer on 40.
Ipswich are currently in the midst of a goal drought which has now passed the 10-hour mark, with Hawkins struggling to explain why his side have failed when it matters.
“I don’t want to make excuses or anything but it does feel like we’ve been a bit unlucky as well,” he said.
“We’ve hit the bar, hit the post and had chances in some games but clearly in others we haven’t had chances. It’s hard to put a finger on what the real problem is. Is it luck, is it effort? I’m not sure.
“It’s hard to keep talking about it because the more you talk about it, the more you think about it.
“Maybe once the first one goes in they all start coming, but it’s just about getting that first goal in these last three games. It’s really tough.
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“The players have the capabilities, given the options we have, but we just have to do it.
“It’s important to score goals and win games but that (the goal drought stats) isn’t on the players’ minds because as the performances have gone in games the defence is really solid and strong which is also part of a full 90 minutes.
“We have parts of our game which are still really strong, it’s just in that final third where we haven’t had the luck or maybe made the wrong decisions.”
Ipswich’s goal drought has fuelled manager Paul Cook’s anger at a side the Town boss has repeatedly said he neither ‘likes or trusts’. But Hawkins has done his best to concentrate on business on the field, rather than his manager’s comments off it.
“Me personally, I don’t read too much or look at it so I’m not sure what’s been said,” he said.
“There may be people talking about it but I don’t focus on it. He can only say what he sees and, if that is what he sees, then that’s his truth.
“Us as lads want to try and win every game which comes to us, which unfortunately hasn’t happened.
“The manager wants to win games, we want to win games, but we haven’t been able to make it happen.”
Asked if he thinks Cook trusts him and rates him as a player Hawkins, who has been hit by injuries during his debut season at Portman Road, replied: “I mean, honestly, I’m not too sure yet because it’s still early days for me.
“He came in when I was injured and it might be a discussion we need to have after the season.
“I’m just trying to keep fit, be ready and will do my best if he selects me. Hopefully he likes me and wants me to stick around next year.
“The main reason why I came to Ipswich was the prospect of big crowds, a promotion-fighting team and a big club, so I’d love to be here next year.
“All I can do is be available for selection and in training and then try my hardest to show that if the new gaffer wanted to pick me then I was ready.
“It’s maybe taken longer (to play) than I expected and I hoped to show what I could do for the team if selected.
“Hopefully the fans are back and there will be a buzz around. That’s been missing. I want to hear people shouting when you make mistakes because that makes me want to do better.
“This club will benefit when fans are back and things are a bit more normal.”
Hawkins has scored once in 22 Ipswich appearances this season, with only eight of those league starts.