Skip to main content

We're much maligned by everyone - Baird

By Wendy Gee -

IAN Baird admits it deeply disappoints him when his Eastleigh team are written off as a 'long ball side'.

The Spitfires, away to Bishop's Stortford tomorrow, have everything to play for in the Blue Square Bet South, sitting just a point outside the play-off zone in sixth place.

By Baird's own admission they didn't get the ball down and play the football they are capable of during Tuesday's 1-0 home win over Bromley.

But the ex-Saint is sick and tired of people constantly knocking his side - including some of Eastleigh's own fans.

"We've got (top scorer) Jamie Slabber 99 per cent out with a calf strain tomorrow, but luckily Richard Gillespie is fit again, and with Mark Nwokeji and Shaun McAuley, we've got plenty of options up front," said Baird. "But it doesn't matter which way we set up, we're always going to be criticised.

"It disappoints me that people call us a long ball side, it really does. I use it as a weapon to spur us on, but our lads just don't get the credit they deserve.

"The Bromley performance was not as exhilarating as it might have been, but we were exhilarating against Dover a couple of weeks before that and A, we got no praise for it, and B, we didn't get any points.

"Against Bromley we still didn't get any praise, but we did get the points.

"Eastleigh are much maligned by everyone - not just opposition managers and supporters, but even some of our own fans.

"Physically we're a big side and I think that's got something to do with it and I also think criticism from the past has stuck with us when everyone thought of Eastleigh as big spenders."

Baird can just about stomach the flak thrown from outside the Silverlake, but he is hurt when it comes from within.

"You'll never get anywhere in sport unless everyone's pulling in the same direction," he said.

"If I look at the team on our doorstep, Havant & Waterlooville, they seem to be pulling together, but there are always one or two nigglers at Eastleigh who love to criticise.

"It's not just me who notices it, the players do too.

"They read and hear negative things and yet we've played some fantastic football this season without ever getting the praise we deserve.

"We've got 13 massive games to go and we're all desperate to get into the play-offs. It's time everyone started rowing in the same direction."

Eastleigh owe Stortford a beating tomorrow having lost at home to them on the opening day of the season.

Despite creating a stack of chances, the Spitfires were beaten 2-1 by the Hertfordshire visitors, who sit 16th.

"I seem to say it all the time, but this is a defining month for us," said Baird. "After the disappointment of losing against Braintree and Dover, we've bounced back with six points out of six against Chelmsford and Bromley.

"We now play Stortford tomorrow and go to Dartford on Tuesday and it's a chance to get ourselves back in the play-off places."

Midfielder Anthony Riviere (groin) joins hamstring victims Danny Smith and Warren Goodhind on the missing list tomorrow, while Ross Bottomley faces a fitness test on a dead leg.

Fit-again Luke Byles will be pushing for a start after impressing as a sub against Bromley.


Popular posts from this blog

Stearn rejoins Sutton

Ross Stearn has rejoined Sutton United after leaving Eastleigh by mutual consent.

He leaves the Silverlake having made 31 appearances and scored five goals under three different managers since linking up with the club for an undisclosed fee.

He had signed a two-and-a-half-year contract for the Spitfires and has now rejoined Sutton on a two-year deal.

Saying his farewells to Eastleigh, Stearn admitted: “I am disappointed things didn't work out as first planned, but it wasn’t for want of trying.

“I wish everyone at the club every success and all the best for the future."

He added: "I had a brilliant two years at Sutton and have really missed the dressing room and supporters who were fantastic with me.

"I’ve always kept a look-out for our results and the boys have done an amazing job. It really feels like I’m coming home and to put on the amber shirt again is so exciting.

"It didn’t work out for me at Eastleigh, but it was a decision I made at the time that was be…

Eastleigh 0-2 Barrow

Eastleigh suffered another home defeat losing 2-0 at the Silverlake against Barrow, who had lost their last seven away games.

Match tweets and reaction below:

EASTLEIGH: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Frazer Shaw, Cavaghn Miley (Ayo Obileye, 84), Andrew Boyce, Callum Howe, Mark Yeates, Simon Heslop, Ben Williamson, James Constable (Sam Matthews, 63), Chris Zebroski (Paul McCallum, 63). Subs (not used) : Ross Flitney, Craig McAllister.

Referee: Simon Barrow.

Attendance: 1,708.
Eastleigh 0 Barrow AFC 2: Another gloomy afternoon for the Spitfires — Daily Echo Sport (@dailyechosport) November 18, 2017

Heslop joins on loan

Simon Heslop, 30, has joined the club on a one-month loan deal from York City. He captained York to FA Trophy victory against Macclesfield at Wembley Stadium in May this year.

The midfielder played against the Spitfires last season, scoring when York visited The Silverlake in November.

Speaking upon arrival at the club, Heslop spoke of his delight at joining up with the squad.

“I’m itching to get going – it’s only initially a one-month loan, but I’m excited to get started.

“This league is all about getting a consistent run going, and I’m sure with the squad assembled, we can give it a go.”

Speaking about the signing of Heslop, Richard Hill said: “I did say I wouldn’t put a sticking plaster on it, but the reason I’ve been convinced is because we’ve found a midfielder who wants to prove himself at a higher level and he’s coming for the right reasons.

"It’s a deal that's beneficial to both the club and player and it’s financially right as well.

“Also, it’s been forced in the respect th…

Dover 2-0 Eastleigh

Goals from James Alabi and former Spitfire Connor Essam were enough for top of the table Dover to seal a 2-0 win over Eastleigh.

Richard Hill's reaction: "It was a frustrating day - we're up against it at the moment.
"The only players we've got at the moment are the players that are in that dressing room - and it doesn't help when a couple of decisions go against you. 
"At times I thought we played decent football - but we just couldn't open them up and get that opportunity."

Jason Dodd To Sign For Eastleigh


The club will complete the transfer of the highly experienced, former Southampton right back before the pre-season friendly between Eastleigh and Saints this Saturday (15th).

Jason Dodd made over 370 appearances for Southampton in his 16 year spell at the club having signed as a teenager from his home town club Bath. The signing of such a well respected, Southampton legend just goes to show that the club are going onwards and upwards!

Eastleigh chairman Paul Murray said the following "This is a fantastic signing and demonstrates the new board's committment to the management team. Jason has been a fantastic servant to Southampton FC over the years and his presence in our dressing room can only add to our challenge for promotion this season."

Manager, Paul Doswell is clearly delighted to have pulled off such a signing and is optimistic about the season ahead. "Between David Hughes and myself, we have spent the last two years talking to Jason,…