EASTLEIGH have turned to former manager Richard Hill to dig them out of a hole - and welcomed fans' favourite Michael Green back to the club.

Hill, who led the Spitfires to the greatest triumph in their history, lifting the 2013/14 Conference South title, has been appointed director of football and placed in short-term charge of the team following the sacking of Martin Allen.

He will be assisted by senior players Craig McAllister and Ben Strevens, plus head of youth Lee Peacock.

Left-back Green, released by Allen a fortnight ago, is back by popular demand and will go straight into the squad for Saturday's trip to Dover Athletic.

Chairman Stewart Donald has apologised to Spitfires fans for the mistakes made in a "costly and unsettling period" that has left the club too close to the National League relegation zone for comfort.

Explaining Hill's return, a club statement said: "It is important the decision made regarding a replacement manager is considered and thorough.

"The club need more football expertise to ensure we give ourselves the best chance of future success and progression.

"Therefore the club have appointed previous manager Richard Hill with immediate effect to assist and give the club much-needed guidance.

"He will add the relevant experience and manage the team through this next period. In the longer term Richard will evaluate and manage all footballing aspects of the club including selecting a replacement manager.

"Richard is obviously well-known to our fans and has huge affection for the club and it is vital that we have someone of Richard’s calibre and expertise to help us with the decisions."

Chairman Donald commented: “I can only unreservedly apologise for what I have put our fans, players and staff through this season.

"I genuinely thought all decisions made were right at the time, but it is clear I have got this wrong.

"It has affected everyone’s enjoyment, none more than myself.

"I am hopeful that, by bringing Richard in, he will stabilise the club and then help push us on again.

"He did a fantastic job when he was here last time. He would walk to the club to come back, he loves it so much, and I feel this passion, coupled with his football knowledge, will help us get things right and be vital in ensuring we - or to be clearer and more accurate, me - from continuing to make mistakes in such a fundamental area."