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Hill admires Gerrard caution
ENGLAND skipper Steven Gerrard’s post-match interview on Tuesday resonated with Eastleigh boss Richard Hill.
Hill was among the Wembley crowd as Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions booked their ticket to Brazil with a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Poland.
He arrived home in Oxford in time to watch the re-run of the highlights on ITV+1 and was impressed by Gerrard’s appeal to the fans and media not to get too carried away ahead of next summer’s tournament.
The skipper spoke of the need to “keep our feet grounded and stay humble”, adding that “the important thing now is that people don’t get carried away and think we’re going to go and win the World Cup.”
On a smaller scale, Hill has exactly the same thoughts about Eastleigh.
Despite a couple of hiccups against Ebbsfleet United in the league and Oxford City in the FA Cup, the Spitfires have had an excellent start to the season, lording it at the top of the Skrill Conference South.
But Hill doesn’t want anyone – be it players, supporters or the press – getting ahead of themselves and assuming promotion is a foregone conclusion.
“I thought it was a fantastic statement by Steven Gerrard to speak about staying grounded and humble and not getting carried away,” he said.
“It’s a lesson not just for us but for any person or team who aspires to be successful.
“We’re currently in a good position at Eastleigh, but it’s a long season. We can’t get promoted in October.”
Hill, meanwhile, might just get the flowing game of football he’s been craving when Staines Town visit the Silverlake Stadium tomorrow.
In recent weeks the Eastleigh boss has voiced his disappointment over what he perceives to be a lack of adventure from visiting sides when they come to Stoneham Lane.
He professed himself “bored on the touchline” during Eastleigh’s 1-0 home win over Phil Babb’s Hayes & Yeading last month. And he was none too impressed either with what the visitors offered in the 2-0 win over Eastbourne Borough or the 1-1 draw with Concord Rangers.
If ex-Wimbledon frontman Marcus Gayle has his way, his Staines side will come out tomorrow to play football.
Although the Swans eventually came good in last Saturday’s 4-1 FA Cup win over Sittingbourne 4-1, booking a home tie against Poole Town next week, Gayle made it known that he was far from impressed with their first-half showing.
“Just because I played for a long-ball team (Wimbledon) doesn’t mean that’s my football philosophy,” he said. “I don’t want to be a miserable manager at 43, but I get cheesed off when I see our wide players having a first thought to pump it long because, in training, we do not do that. We never lift the ball off the floor in training, not one ball. That’s what frustrates me.
“I don’t want to say ‘win at all costs, play a percentage game, put it in the corners’ because we are not equipped to do that.”
Eastleigh will almost certainly be without injured right-back Dan Spence again tomorrow, but there’s a chance targetman Craig McAllister could return from a hamstring niggle.
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