Sacrificial lambs - Tessem and Day depart. Goodhind to return?
By Wendy Gee -
EX-SAINT Jo Tessem and Matt Day have become the "sacrificial lambs" of Eastleigh's embarrassing 8-2 defeat by Thurrock last Saturday.
Both players went off injured during the Silverlake Stadium mauling and both were gone by the time the Spitfires redeemed themselves with a 1-0 Blue Square South victory at Basingstoke Town on Tuesday.
Manager Ian Baird has already brought in one replacement, agreeing an initial one month's loan deal for 19-year-old Portsmouth centre half Luke Wilkinson.
And the heartening news Spitfires fans is that popular defender Warren Goodhind looks like pulling the plug on his new life in Spain and could be back on the scene as early as next week.
After just five starts and one substitute appearance, former Oxford United defender Day - signed from Hungerford Town in November as Goodhind's replacement - has reached the end of the road with the Spitfires due to fitness issues.
"Matt's very good technically, but I was always on at him about his fitness levels," said the boss. "Unfortunately, when you get a result like we did last Saturday there has to be one or two sacrificial lambs to enable us to raise some money to try and strengthen the squad."
At 37, Tessem, was never going to be the long-term solution for Eastleigh, but he had agreed to help them through their recent injury crisis.
It was unfortunate for the big Norwegian that, after three appearances off the bench, his starting debut should coincide with the Thurrock collapse. Eastleigh were already 4-0 down when he limped out of the action nine minutes before half time after being clattered by a strong challenge.
"Things didn't work out for Jo," said Baird. "He's an exemplary pro and his fitness levels are very good, but it's difficult to drop down from the level he's been playing into non-league."
With Aaron Cook dropped to the bench, striker Andy Forbes filled in as an emergency centre half at Basingstoke.
But the arrival of Wilkinson, who recently returned to Pompey following a month's loan at Northampton Town, will free up Forbes to compete with frontmen Richard Gillespie and Lee Roache.
Baird hopes Wilkinson will inject some pace into the heart of the defence - an ingredient the Spitfires have been sorely lacking since loan man Steve Cook returned to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Discussing the likely return of ex-Cambridge United, Barnet and Rochdale defender Goodhind, Baird said: "I've been in contact with Warren for the last month.
The move to Spain hasn't worked out and he's become disillusioned. He was waiting on some money he was owed, but I think he's got that now and I'm hoping he'll be back next week.