Baird reflects on the season
Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Echo interviewed manager Ian Baird recently where the Spitfires’ boss reflected on the season and why he thinks things haven’t quite gone to plan this time round.
Kajumba wrote: At the outset, the Spitfires had high hopes of bettering last term when their campaign was cruelly cut short in the Blue Square South play-off semi finals.
A number of factors, some self-inflicted, have since combined to dramatic and disastrous effect for Eastleigh.
And the Spitfires conceded that their play-off hopes are over following back to back defeats over the Easter weekend against Dover and Woking.
Baird said: “It’s been a week of reflection.
“We realized that we have blown the opportunity of getting in the play-offs.
“And we have been looking as a management team at what we could have done better, the facts of the season, what targets we have got for next season, what players we try and keep, what budget we are going to have and are we going to be competitive.
“Overall, where it all went wrong.”
Expanding on that, Baird continued: “What people don’t realize is this season we have sold almost £40,000 of players and Aaron Martin we have also not adequately replaced.
“Aaron has gone (to Saints) and we have missed his pace in the back four and not had a settled defence.
“We have missed Brett Williams (who joined AFC Totton) – he was a big part for us after Christmas last year.
“I wouldn’t say we have missed Michael Green (who joined Totton) but I would like to think we would have.
“So selling those three players has been a factor, not having a settled side all season, having six of our first-team players unavailable at various times due to injury and working with a wafer thin squad have all been problems.
“We have also been a little bit too top heavy with six or seven player’s wages and the pitch has not helped us.”
An element of self-analysis has also taken place in Eastleigh’s review of the season Baird explained.
“We have shot ourselves in the foot at times in games,” he continued.
“And the management team have to take a hard look at ourselves as well,” he said.
“I know we have been unlucky with the players we have bought in because, no disrespect to the lads from the Glenn Hoddle Academy and the loan players, they have not done particularly well.”