Baird challenges Sam to be a starter
By Wendy Gee -
AFTER spending last Saturday morning scoring two goals for Fulham's academy side, Sam Wilson will be turning his attentions to the FA Cup with Eastleigh this afternoon.
The livewire 17-year-old striker will be included in Ian Baird's squad for the visit of Oxford City in the third qualifying round.
With Fulham promising to keep tabs on the former Wildern schoolboy between now and the new year, Wilson's challenge is to continue working hard and force his way into the Spitfires' starting XI.
"It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Sam at Fulham and now he's got to knuckle down now and force himself into our side," said Baird. "He comes from good stock and the lad's got a good chance, but Fulham can only watch him if he's playing. He needs to get his mind focused on getting into Eastleigh's first team."
The Spitfires have a clean bill of health to face a buoyant Oxford side sitting second behind AFC Totton in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
But Baird will be without on-loan defender/midfielder Henrik Breimyr whose parent club, Aldershot Town, do not want him cup-tied.
It means Breimyr has played his last game for the club, at least for the time being, because he is jetting off to Cyprus on Monday for Norway's UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifiers.
"Henrik will be a loss, but we won in the last round without him, so we'll hopefully be alright," said Baird.
"But it'll be difficult. Oxford City beat us in pre-season and played well and we had them watched last week when they beat Swindon Supermarine 7-1 and they were obviously very good that day.
"They've got experience up front and right round the side.
"As long as we do things right and don't give stupid goals away we've got a good chance but, of late, we've made a habit of kicking ourselves in the proverbials.
"We're in a higher league than them, but they're only five places below us on the pyramid. So are we favourites tomorrow? Possibly not."
Loan winger Graeme Montgomery can play tomorrow but, as of yesterday, Baird had still to talk to Aldershot about the possibility of extending his Silverlake stay.
Experienced midfielders Shaun Wilkinson and Ian Herring will be in contention after coming through a mid-week run-out at Aldershot in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup.