WHEN you have experienced what Chris Todd has in life, the endless speculation over whether he will or won’t land the Eastleigh manager’s job was never likely to get him down.

Having battled through chronic myeloid leukaemia, the 34-year-old can’t help but laugh when asked if he is bothered by the online banter from fans trying to guess the identity of his six rivals for the post vacated by Richard Hill.

Ex-Saints James Beattie, Micky Adams, Iain Dowie and Kevin Davies are among myriad names put forward by supporters desperate to know which way chairman Stewart Donald is leaning.

Donald himself has indicated that interviews will be completed by the middle of next week, leaving Todd with two more games in caretaker charge – Saturday's trip to third-placed Tranmere Rovers followed by Tuesday’s free-admission home showdown against National League leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Apart from Todd himself, the club have given no indication as to who is in the running for the job. But, having initially lined up eight interviewees, that has shrunk to seven because one club has refused the Spitfires permission to speak to their manager.

Asked if it’s been tough working against a background of uncertainty, Todd smiled: “I’m a very positive person and always have been. I won’t let things like that get to me.

“I’ve had the opportunity to run the team for the last two weeks and long may it continue.

“If it changes and another man comes in, so be it. That’s football.

“But I’m a young man, I’m enthusiastic, I’m knowledgeable and I know how to win football matches.

“The support I’ve had has been brilliant, I couldn’t ask for more. Hopefully a good result at Tranmere will make things even better.”

With Gary Brabin’s Tranmere on the crest of a nine-match unbeaten run, Eastleigh will need a performance akin to their 3-2 win at Wrexham a fortnight ago to get any joy at Prenton Park.

They certainly can’t afford a repeat of last Saturday’s strangely subdued offering against Braintree which ended in a 2-0 Silverlake defeat.

The two performances were chalk and cheese, but Todd said: "It happens. I experienced the highs and the lows in one week.

"It's been an eye-opener and a great learning curve in a short space of time.

“We’ve watched clips of the Braintree game and analysed it in depth, looking at what went right and what wrong,” added Todd.

“We’ve done everything in our power to prepare the players and hopefully now we’ll get a reaction from them.

“We’re fully prepared, we’re ready to go and what we did at Wrexham shows we’re more than capable of winning.”

Although the fixtures haven’t been kind to Todd – Eastleigh go to second-placed Cheltenham next Saturday (October 17) to complete the set of the top three! – he at least has a near fully-fit squad available for a change.

Defender Jamie Turley and top scorer James Constable will be back on board at Birkenhead on Saturday, leaving skipper and centre-back Paul Reid as the sole absentee. “Reidy’s not far off now and it’ll be a bonus when he’s back,” said Todd.