Manager comments

Eastleigh manager Ian Baird looks ahead to today's opening game of the 2011/12 season versus Frank Gray's Basingstoke Town. Baird said: "Basingstoke have put an extremely experienced squad together with players like Shaun McAuley, Tim Sills, Ashley Bayes, Wes Daly, Jay Gasson and Stuart Lake and I'm sure their management and supporters expect them to go for promotion.

"The remit at Eastleigh is slightly different. We're not going to win the league and the expectancy level from the board is not as high as before.

"We've only got eight or nine senior players, but the youngsters have done ever so well and their attitude in training is spot on.

"Pre-season has gone better than we'd envisaged, but I'm too long in the tooth to think everything will be rosy in the garden.

Baird goes on to say "But what I do know is that we'll be prepared for a battle. We've got to stick together and have a siege mentality.

"We've gone down a different route and it would be nice to have everyone pulling in the same direction.

"We won't acheive anything if people want to jump in the lifeboat at the first possible excuse."

Frank Gray commented: "Eastleigh have a lot of new players, but they still have experience in the side.

"They might try to play a bit more football with the young players but, by and large, their manager Ian Baird likes to play direct football, getting the ball forward and looking to win set pieces.

"I can't see that changing and we just have to deal with it.

"Eastleigh is always a tough place to go." said Gray.

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