Eastleigh boss says 'pressure is off' as they battle with Wrexham, Chesterfield, Bromley and Halifax for National League play-off spots
Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens says the ‘pressure is off’ and that they are ‘underdogs’ going into the final day of the National League season with a play-off place on the line.
A win for the Spitfires at Altrincham last night would have sent them fifth, with Chesterfield dropping out of the top seven, ahead of Saturday’s last round of fixtures.
But they conceded a late equaliser and had to settle for a 1-1 draw which leaves them eighth, just behind Town on goal difference.
Despite their fate not being in their hands Strevens thinks it could help them.
“A couple of times in the last four to six weeks, when it has been in our hands again, you are holding onto something and you don’t want to let it go,” he said.
“We are the underdogs going into it, as are Bromley and Halifax, just on the outside of it.
“They (Chesterfield and Wrexham) have both got tough games but they have both got amazing squads and they will think they can go and do it.
"The pressure is off now.
“There is always one team that sneaks in, normally, let’s hope it is on Saturday.”
Eastleigh go to Solihull Moors on Saturday, while Chesterfield travel to Halifax, Bromley host Notts County and Wrexham visit Dagenham and Redbridge.
“If we get three points on Saturday and we miss out then fair play to everyone else who has got in there but I believe if we get the three points we have got a really good chance of getting in there,” Strevens said.
“I still strongly believe we can do it but all the teams going into it will.
We can’t all win but we have got to focus on ourselves.”
Strevens admitted that he would need to lift his players after a disappointing draw on Tuesday.
“We looked a bit nervy at times today which is understandable,” he added.
“The boys have still got a great chance of doing it, they are all down in there and of course we are all like ‘it is not in our hands now’ but it has not been in our hands for weeks.
“I have got to pick them back up because they are a bit disappointed but it is still all to play for.”