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Eastleigh boss Hill clears the decks
ADAM Everitt has joined Chris Flood on the Eastleigh transfer list as manager Richard Hill continues trimming down his squad.
The Spitfires have reduced their numbers by two this week with central defender Gary Elphick moving to Blue Square Bet South rivals Tonbridge Angels and goalkeeping coach/cover ’keeper Wayne Shaw having his contract cancelled by mutual consent.
But, according to Hill, the club are still “vastly over budget” and only by shifting a couple more players from the wage bill will he be able to address certain areas of the squad that need strengthening.
“We do have a large squad and are currently a long way over budget,” he said.
“The chairman has made it clear that I need to work within certain financial constraints so I will have to get a few players out if I want to freshen things up.
“I am certain we need to do that so, with that in mind, I have made a couple of players available for transfer.”
Former Winchester, Salisbury and Crawley midfielder Flood joined Eastleigh from Dorchester last November. He was transfer-listed by Hill’s predecessor Ian Baird during the summer and has made just four appearances off the bench this term.
Everitt returned for a second spell as a Spitfire from Staines in July with the intention of pressuring Michael Green for the left-back spot.
But Green has started ten of the Spitfires 11 league games and, in the new manager’s view, has been performing “fantastically”.
Confirming that Everitt and Flood are both available for transfer, Hill said. “Chris was on the list in any case and I spoke to him and said that would continue.
“Adam has also been put on the list, but it doesn’t mean he and Chris will be treated as outcasts.
“If the need arises for them to be involved in games, they will be.
“They will both be treated with the respect they deserve as human beings and as footballers.
“They will continue to be involved in and around the squad and, unlike some managers, I won’t be sending them to train with the reserves or telling them not to come into work.”
If and when Everitt leaves, he won’t necessarily be replaced by a specialist left-back.
Leigh Mills, Hill’s first signing for the club, showed his versatility by switching from centre-back to central midfield when Mark Hughes went off injured during Wednesday’s 4-3 home win over Staines Town.
“We’re at a level where you can’t be altogether position specific,” said the boss. “You can have a left-back, but the back-up player might be a centre-half who can play at left-back, just as Andy Forbes does at right-back.”
Midfielder Hughes went off with a cut nose on Wednesday and Forbes bowed out with a sore groin, but both will be fit to travel to Chelmsford City tomorrow.
Having lost their last two games on the road – 6-2 at Farnborough in the league and 1-0 at Gloucester in the FA Cup – the seventh-placed Spitfires have plenty to prove against a Clarets side sitting a point above them in fourth.
“We’ve not got a good mentality for playing away,” said Hill.
“You have to keep the game tight and forsake a few attacking options and look after your own goal a bit. And if you do get a chance, you need to make sure you take it.”
Chelmsford are spearheaded by ex-Spitfire Jamie Slabber, who scored twice last weekend as the Clarets recovered from a goal down to beat Cray Wanderers 2-1 in the FA Cup.