Karl Hawley confident he can fill goal gap left by departure of Leon Clarke from Scunthorpe United
SCUNTHORPE United front man Karl Hawley is confident he can fill the goal-gap left by prolific strike partner Leon Clarke.
Hawley admits his current conversion rate is not where he wants it to be, having found the net just four times since moving to Glanford Park in September – the latest a penalty in Saturday's home defeat to Bournemouth.
Clarke on the other hand hit 11 in 15 appearances before heading back to parent club Charlton Athletic at the weekend.
The duo formed an immediate connection in claret and blue, but Hawley is determined to prove he can "step up to the plate" now the partnership has been broken up.
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"We're different kind of players but at the end of the day strikers get judged on goals and I want to score every game," he said.
"The good thing is I've been getting chances; as long as I keep getting chances I know I'll score.
"I'm not happy with it (his goal tally). I'm not totally disgusted in it, it's okay, it's not great.
"I'm looking to do better, which I'm always looking to do.
"I've been in this game for a long time and I know it's not possible, unless you're Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, to score every game.
"For me, if we get three points and I don't score I'm more than happy with that.
"Leon's a very good player. He scored a bagfull of goals for us and did very well, but he didn't do it just on his own, it was a lot of hard work from everyone else.
"He's a good lad and it's disappointing to see him go, but we always knew it was going to happen and now other people have got to step up to the plate.
"There's people in that dressing room who are good enough to go out there and do that."
Currently on a short-term contract with United, Hawley's deal is due to expire on January 7.
Manager Brian Laws was non-committal when asked by the Telegraph about the former Notts County forward's future, only saying discussions would take place in the coming weeks.
Given he has acknowledged changes will be made to the squad when the transfer window reopens, Laws must decide whether Hawley is a player he wishes to keep or if funds could be better used elsewhere.
"I'll certainly be talking to Karl," said the Iron boss.
"I've said to him I'll be talking to him shortly and that hasn't changed.
"I will certainly be talking to him about the longer term issues because he'll want to know what's going on.
"That's something we'd like to try to progress if we can.
"There's some talking to be done as well, we know that."
For his part, Hawley is doing his best not to think about what happens beyond the New Year, preferring instead to focus on his game.
"I'm just happy to be playing and hopefully I can help the team for as long as I'm here, whether it be until January or beyond that, I don't know yet," he said.
"I've not really thought about it. All I've thought about is just playing.
"As long as I'm out there playing and enjoying it, doing all I can to help the team that's all I'm bothered about.
"There's always little whispers going about everywhere, but I'm not concentrating on that, I'm concentrating on what I can do on a Saturday, that's all I can affect."
With Clarke gone, it means he will be doing that with a different partner up front.
Mike Grella took on the role last week, though Nathan Ellington is expected to come into contention for Saturday's trip to Leyton Orient after being sidelined with a calf injury.
Whoever he is paired with, Hawley is prepared to work at the relationship.
"Every player's different and you've got to look at what that player's going to do," he said.
"That's football and you need to know other people's games to get the best out of each other.
"It can come with time, but as you've seen with me and Leon we just hit it off straight away, it didn't really take any time.
"I think it's just one of those things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it will work without you doing anything about it and sometimes it will work with working on it, sometimes it just won't work."