Monday, 5 December 2016

Allen reacts to FA Cup draw v Halifax

Allen looking to bolster midfield

Picture by Tony Smith -
New Eastleigh boss Martin Allen is on the lookout to bolster his midfield options following Andy Drury's departure to Ebbsfleet and an injury to Jason Taylor.

Speaking about some of the reasons for Drury leaving the club, Allen said:

“He (Andy Drury) was honest and said he didn’t want to play down here anymore.

“I let the chairman know and thought it was best all-round to let him leave.

“We need everyone fully committed and I respect his decision and his choice.

“He’s a good player, any club would miss him at this level.

“But credit to the chairman, he let him go for nothing."

Midfielder Jason Taylor is sidelined with an injury and Allen is hoping to boost the numbers in midfield where he feels the squad is a little short.

“Jason had an injection on Thursday to be able to play in this game but was injured after 20 minutes and couldn’t run.

“He took one on the bottom of his foot but his hip was already a problem and he’s likely to need an operation.

“I was short [in midfield] anyway so had to play Partington there.

“I don’t think there are any other central midfield players here.”

Ryan Huddart stepped in at short notice to play in goal for Eastleigh in place of Scott Brown. Brown is on loan from Wycombe, but his parent club didn't want him to be cup-tied. 

Huddart had returned to Arsenal having only played four times in his spell on loan with the Spitfires.

“We didn’t have a keeper at 4.45pm on Saturday," explained Allen.

“So I gave Ryan a ring and persuaded him to come down last night and God bless didn’t he play well!

“He made some great saves, he was superb for us.”

Eastleigh manager needs a new midfielder

EASTLEIGH boss Martin Allen is looking for a new midfielder following the sudden departure of Andy Drury and a long-term injury for Jason Taylor. Drury dropped a level to return to Ebbsfleet United, his first club, on Allen's first day in charge so right-back Joe Partington played there instead against FC Halifax Town yesterday.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

FA Cup - Eastleigh 3-3 FC Halifax Town - Eastleigh earn replay thanks to late leveller

Eastleigh had to fight back from 3-1 down to earn a dramatic 3-3 draw in the FA Cup in new boss Martin Allen's first game as Spitfires manager.

Mikael Mandron had put the hosts 1-0 up in the first half but the visitors came out fighting after the break and scored three goals in the space of just 11 minutes.

Eastleigh pulled a goal back through substitute Scott Wilson who set up an exciting finale when he fired home to make it 3-2 in the 74th minute.

The drama didn't end there as Mandron ensured Eastleigh still had a place in the competition by scoring a late leveller with his second and Eastleigh's third goal of the game to make it 3-3. 

Eastleigh will now travel to Halifax Town for the replay looking to settle the tie on Tuesday 13th December.

The FA Cup 3rd round draw will take place on Monday.

Eastleigh 3-3 FC Halifax Town : Late goals earn Martin Allen's Spitfires a place in FA Cup 3rd round draw

Eastleigh began the Martin Allen era by coming back from 3-1 down to earn an FA Cup replay at FC Halifax Town - thanks to Mika Mandron's 90th-minute equaliser. Two-goal Mandron bundled in the dramatic equaliser from point-blank range to ensure a 3-3 draw and a place for Eastleigh in tomorrow night's third-round draw.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Fans view: It's too early to write the season off

Lloyd Lampard has enjoyed following the Spitfires for a while. He says: “I think Eastleigh are a great club. They may not be in League Two or League One, but they have a sense of spirit that follows them.

“The chairman, Stewart Donald, is a great person and does a huge amount for the club.”

Lloyd enjoys the experience and atmosphere when following Eastleigh games. “I think the atmosphere for fans is amazing.

“Eastleigh have made a lot of progress over the last five years on and off the pitch.”

Following Ronnie Moore’s recent and somewhat unexpected departure from the Silverlake Stadium, Lloyd offers his views on Ronnie’s time at the club and wishes him well for the future.

“I think the club is far from being the best but when Ronnie Moore was in charge, I used to love watching our home games because I knew that it would be special.

“But when you look at away records, it's never the best for any manager because of different grounds to what they are used to.”

Stewart Donald acted swiftly to replace Moore by appointing Martin Allen from League 2 side Barnet. Allen is the club’s third manager of the season as Chris Todd was replaced by Moore just four games into the season back in August.

Lloyd offered his views on the latest managerial change. He said: “Martin Allen is a good manager from what I've seen and I think he can give us a good hand to help Eastleigh gain promotion because it's not too late to change to winning ways.

“He is very passionate about how he wants any team he manages to play football. I wish Ronnie Moore all the best in the future and hope that Martin Allen can give us what the Spitfire fans have been waiting for.”

Eastleigh fan Gary Pitcher questions why the season is being written off when there is still half a season of football to be played. Gary offers this positive outlook: “If my maths are right we're exactly half way through the season.

“We're 9th and 8 points off 5th. So with 23 games to go, why are we writing the season off?”.

Another Eastleigh supporter Martin Lombardi has commented on the recent changes at the club:

“What a whirlwind week this has been.

“The departure of another manager swiftly followed by the appointment of another.

“Martin Allen has already started to assemble his team with the hiring of assistant coach James Russell and no doubt he will be followed by some more.

“Whatever your views are on whether or not we need a cup run, it's important Martin hits the ground running.

“It's important for the players, the fans and the club to get a bit of stability and get that winning mentality again.

“If we now have a manager who puts as much in as the players, fans and chairman we will go places.

“Hold on to your seats, the ride is about to start again.”

Quotes: Martin Allen on becoming Eastleigh manager

Quotes from Martin Allen's first interview as Eastleigh manager:

“It’s a tough division to get out of, only two do, but to be champions is achievable this season.

"You have to be pretty special to be a champion but we’re only halfway through.

“The crunch time will come towards Easter. That’s when it’s really going to matter and when we find out what we’ve got.

“We’ll see if the teams at the top now can handle the pressure of being at the top because it’s hard being at the top.

"My Barnet team dealt with it because we were top of the league from the first game till the last game.

“We’ve got to come from behind but we will put a run together and these players will challenge, there’s no doubt about that."

Speaking about how he became the Eastleigh boss and looking forward to the FA Cup on Sunday, Allen said: “It was totally out of the blue, I was all set for a quiet weekend with plans to see the family, walk the dogs and tidy up the garden for the winter and here we are now, full-on ready for the FA Cup!

“It’s exciting for the supporters and a big day for the players. I’m sure there’ll be a big crowd.”

Allen has worked with centre back and Eastleigh's record signing Bondz N'Gala at Barnet. The new Spitfires boss said: “Bondz is a very special person to me, he’s one of my champions.

“I’m very close to my players and obviously didn’t want to sell Bondz, but the offer was too high to turn down so Bondz moved on.

“So to see him back here ... he’s a really good player and a really good signing."

Speaking about his squad and the possibility of any new additions, Allen said: “I know all the squad, not personally but as players, and I am going to give everyone here a chance.

“If they train the right way they will earn the right to get a chance and I will play them all.

"At Barnet I had seven teenagers make their debuts in the last year and there are some good young players here.

“I love the young players coming through, we’ll give everyone a chance. Everyone that wants to be here is going to stay.

"We’ll let them all express themselves and they’ll have my full backing.

“I really will help all of them to maximise their abilities and their potential.

"How far can I take them? I’ve no idea. But the owner’s got great plans and a great vision. Long-term, anything is possible with his ambition.

“He’s got tremendous enthusiasm and a very positive attitude. He was very positive about me personally and I want to help him achieve long-term goals.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting journey, of course with some ups and downs along the way - but that’s part and parcel of being a football supporter and a football manager.

“Together we need to work together to galvanise the players and put something in place that the supporters will be proud of.

“We want to make history.

“There are good players here but what I had at Barnet wasn’t about the players, it was about the people.

“We had great characters, good personalities and a fantastic work ethic, unity and team spirit.

“We didn’t have many players for my last home game, only 15 outfield players and two goalies.

"But we had camaraderie, unity and honesty - values that were all put in place from day one.

“That is powerful and only time will tell if we can do that with this group.”

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