EASTLEIGH defender Lee Hodson has admitted that he found it "difficult" being sidelined due to an ankle injury.

The former Northern Ireland international returned to action for the Spitfires' 5-1 win against Boreham Wood in the FA Cup earlier this month.

He then kept his place in the team for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic where he spoke about his time out.

Speaking to Eastleigh's official club media, he said: "It's difficult. I have injured that ankle before and I knew straight away that I had done something.

"The feeling was similar to what I had done before and this one was maybe slightly worse with the fracture.

"It is always difficult mentally. We have got a good bunch of lads, the physio and the staff, we are together. It sort of pulls you through when you are going through those times.

"Obviously, you are seeing the lads play, you just want to be out there. I worked hard and I am just happy to be out on the field playing."

The 24-time Northern Ireland international has only managed eight appearances since joining the club on a free transfer from Kilmarnock this summer.

The Spitfires went 1-0 up against Oldham through a Chris Maguire penalty before they were pegged back by Alex Reid's second-half strike.

The result means that Eastleigh currently sit 11th in the National League table but Hodson believes that it could turn out to be a good point in the long run.

He added: "We always knew that they would have a lot of possession at home. I think it’s their second home game with the new manager in charge.

"We knew that they would want to come out and put a performance on for him and the fans.

"It shows the character of the lads. It was a completely different game to last week. We could have maybe nicked something in the second half. But it’s a good point away from home."

Richard Hill's side will be back in action on Saturday when they host fifth-placed Altrincham, who are unbeaten in 10 league games