Paul Reid has backed new boy Frankie Sutherland to add some energy to midfield as he aims to boost fitness levels at Whitehawk.

The Hawks boss has also brought in assistant Kevin Watson and lined up a fitness coach.

Watson is already assisting joint bosses Reid and Alan Payne while Lindsay Davis could come on board as fitness coach in the next few weeks.

Hawks are in the National League south drop-zone but have games in hand on rivals.

Reid, their fourth manager of a crazy season, wants to make them a more professional outfit and sees fitness as an obvious area to improve.

Sutherland could make his debut at Hungerford tonight after being frustrated on Saturday, when the home game against Hemel Hempstead was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The former QPR midfielder, who had a stint on loan at Crawley last season, played for Woking right up to this month but recently parted company with the National League outfit.

Reid moved in and got him involved in fitness testing last week.

He said: “Frankie’s an energetic midfielder.

“I have done fitness tests with the players and he came out very well. He will add some energy and legs in the middle of the park for us.

“I was made aware he was available through an agent friend of mine.

“I did my research and thought he would be a good addition.”

Reid explained why he opted to stage mid-season fitness tests.

He said: “It’s something I’ve tried to do to get the players feeling a bit more professional.

“We have been doing fitness tests, hydration tests, weight tests, fat tests. I am trying to squeeze everything I can out of the lads.

“Fitness is something I feel that can be improved.

“It is something I think is a bare minimum requirement. It is something that can easily be worked on and we are working on it now.”

Hackney-born Watson is seen as a key part of the new-look Hawks set-up. He played for Rotherham, Colchester and Swindon and co-hosts a show on TalkSport 2.

Reid said: “Kevin was a player, he was assistant to Teddy Sheringham at Stevenage, to Mick Harford at Luton and, recently, to Ronnie Moore at Eastleigh.

“I am still on the playing staff and felt I needed a bit of extra help.

“He has got a great background. He played at a good level and that instantly gains him respect from all the players. They know he knows what he is talking about.

“He is quite experienced in that field of being a No.2.

“He does work for Sky Sports and TalkSport, which is one of his attributes. He is very knowledgeable about the game and his opinion is respected.”

Reid confirmed Payne’s role would remain unchanged.

He said: “Alan will do the same as he was as joint manager.

“He is great as a sounding board to discuss players and opposition. Alan is still very much part of the set-up and someone I rely on for help.”

Davis could join as fitness coach to continue a career which has seen him work for Oxford, the Glenn Hoddle Academy and, currently, in India.

Reid said: “I got him through a contact at Barnsley but I am still trying to get that one over the line.

“He has other commitments to sort out but that could be one for next month.

“The club have been very good with me. I give them weekly updates on everything I am doing and trying to implement.

“I will be working very hard this week to bring in a couple of players.

“The first thing is to get some quality players in. If we do that, we will re-assess and maybe re-jig with people going out.”

Meanwhile, Eastbourne Borough have signed defender Shaun Hobson on loan from Bournemouth for the rest of the season. Borough’s game at Maidenhead United on Saturday was also frozen off.