EASTLEIGH discovered that no amount of pre-planning could prepare them for “new manager syndrome” at Guiseley on Saturday.

With ex-Barrow boss Paul Cox taking his first game in charge of the Nethermoor Park outfit, the second-to-bottom Lions miraculously had more bite about them in a 0-0 National League stalemate.

It was the Spitfires’ fourth straight league draw, leaving them 12th in the table ahead of two home matches this week – against Maidstone United on Tuesday (7.45pm) and AFC Fylde next Saturday (3pm).

“It was a horrible game, but credit to Guiseley,” said Eastleigh boss Richard Hill. “They put you under pressure from start to finish, but I don’t think that was the case before.

“It makes you think that if those players had played like that in the previous eight games (former management duo) Adam Lockwood and Dave Penney would still be in jobs, but that’s football for you.

“We’d had a couple of match reports done on them prior to the game, but we ripped them up because we knew it was going to be totally different to how they played under a new manager.

“Everyone will say you should go to places like that and win but, let me tell you, Guiseley haven’t played like that all season.

“It’s our luck at the minute that we’ve had a tough eight games and, for the ninth, we’ve come up against ‘new manager syndrome.’”

Yet, for all that Guiseley made life difficult, Hill still believes the Spitfires could and should have done better in an attacking sense.

Had it not been for a great save by the diving Graham Stack, Blackpool loanee Raul Correia might given the Lions an 11th-minute lead.

And the Spitfires breathed a sigh of relief five minutes from time when Jake Lawlor fired a sitter over from six yards.

Mark Yeates had the best of Eastleigh’s first-half chances and they threatened again at the death when midfielder Danny Hollands turned and half-volleyed from the edge of the box, bringing the best out of Lions ’keeper Joe Green.

“We couldn’t get going,” Hill admitted. “They were very physical and you expect that, but it’s difficult when they’re allowed to get away with fouling our defenders, yet when our defenders get a bit strong, they get free-kicks given against them. How does that work?

“We didn’t play well enough in Guiseley’s half of the pitch and we need to do better with the football in that respect.

“But what I will say is that we did play very, very well in the defensive third – and we had to, otherwise we would’ve got beat.

“The football purists need to bear in mind that six months ago we’d have lost that game.”