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Eastleigh boss Martin Allen delighted with signing of ex-Premier League striker Darius Henderson

EASTLEIGH boss Martin Allen believes new signing Darius Henderson brings some “much needed” attributes to the Spitfires.

The experienced striker made his debut in Tuesday night’s National League draw with Forest Green Rovers, playing the entire second half after replacing James Constable.

Henderson had only agreed the switch to Eastleigh on Tuesday morning, arriving at the Silverlake Stadium from League Two side Mansfield on a free transfer.

The 35-year-old had scored two goals in 16 appearances for the Stags although only five of those were starts.

The former Premier League forward has plenty of experience in the Football League with clubs including Reading, Gillingham, Watford, Sheffield United, Millwall, Nottingham Forest, Leyton Orient and Coventry City.

Now he has dropped into Non-League and while Allen admits Henderson won’t be frightening defenders with his pace, he says the big striker will bring a lot to the table.

Allen told BBC Solent Sport: “He hasn’t trained for quite a while but I know what he can do because I saw him play against my team earlier in the season when he came on as a sub and did really well.

“He leads the line, he brings people into play, he’s a threat, he’s got courage and he’s got huge amount of guts and a big, big heart.

“He drove down here  this afternoon and it was only all agreed in the morning. I thought we needed someone to lead the line and perhaps he’s not as mobile as some of the others, but he has other attributes that are much needed in this team.

“We’ll help him get fitter and if we can turn some of these draws into wins, we can hopefully put some smiles on the faces of our supporters.”

Henderson added: “I’m delighted to be on board and hopefully I can help the lads achieve the common goal which is promotion.

“We’re all going to be working hard and if we can put a good run of results together, hopefully we’ll be smiling come the end of the season. It’s going to be tough but we’re all working hard to achieve it.”

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