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The Non-League Football Paper

Sleepless Richard Hill admits Eastleigh are in a relegation battle

By Jon Couch

Worried Richard Hill says he is having sleepless nights over Eastleigh’s poor recent form – and accepts his side are now firmly ensconced in a relegation battle!

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sutton means the Spitfires have now gone six matches without a win in the National League – a run which has seen them slip to 19th in the table.

But, worryingly for Hill, their performance at Gander Green Lane did nothing to suggest that the tide could be turning, and the no-nonsense boss admits he’s a worried man.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen since I came back to the club and probably the worst in my two spells here,” he said. “I’m sorry for those fans who travelled and paid good money to watch that.

“Believe it or believe it not, we are now in a relegation battle after 23 games, there’s no getting away from that.

“The next 23 have got to be better than the last 23 – and definitely better than the last ten.”

Thanks to the spending power of ambitious chairman Stewart Donald, the Spitfires were installed as one of the pre-season promotion favourites in the National League – but now Hill admits his concern at just protecting the club’s top;-flight status is keeping him up at all hours.

“[Sutton] were better than us, end of,” he conceded. “We’ve got some really nice, decent blokes who have been good players, which is why they were signed, but at the moment they’re not playing well.

“I look at myself in the mirror every day of the week – mostly between 2am and 6am. It’s not a case of me blaming the players. We’re all accountable and yesterday’s performance was not acceptable in any way, shape or form.”

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