Versatile Portsmouth star Oli Hawkins has lifted the lid on his time playing as both a centre-forward and a central defender for the club.
Recently, the number nine has once again been installed in the heart of defence by Kenny Jackett, but he has now revealed that he still views himself as a striker and that the defensive move will only be temporary whilst others recover from injury.
Speaking at the club’s pre-match press conference and reported by Andrew Moon of the BBC, Hawkins said: “It’s hard because I want to be a striker. In the back of my head I’m thinking why am I not in contention to be a centre forward, I did a good job up there and felt a bit discarded.”
Can you name Portsmouth’s club player of the season from the last 15 years?
The 27-year-old made the move to Fratton Park from Dagenham and Redbridge in the summer of 2017 and has so far gone on to play 87 times, scoring 18 goals and assisting nine more.
Last season saw him deployed much more regularly as a striker but with the summer arrival of John Marquis and the return to full fitness of Brett Pitman, game time up front has been harder to come by for him.
This weekend sees Pompey take on Altrincham in the FA Cup and Hawkins will no doubt be keen to show what he can do when leading the line.
Hawkins has been an excellent servant for Pompey.
There are not too many strikers around who would be so willing to fill in at centre-back as much as he has, so it is a real testament to his attitude and his priorities that he is willing to do just that.
It will be interesting to see if Jackett does try him up front again any time soon. Marquis is clearly first choice whilst you would have to imagine Pitman is second.
So where Hawkins fits in, it is hard to tell.