Eastleigh manager Ronnie Moore thinks that the Spitfires’ FA Cup First Round tie against Swindon Town is a “fantastic opportunity” for his players.
The Spitfires were handed a home draw against the SkyBet League One strugglers, a tie that Moore believes is certain to given live television coverage.
Eastleigh are in good form having lost only one of their last thirteen games in all competitions.
That form, coupled with Swindon Town sitting just one place above the League One relegation zone, sees many tipping the tie as a potential cup upset.
And Spitfires boss Moore believes that his side will fancy their chances of producing a famous giantkilling.
He said “It’s a fantastic draw, it really is.
“It is a hard tie for us, but it is a home draw against a League side and that’s what you would want.
“Swindon Town are a footballing side, so are we, so it should be an attractive tie, a TV
“We can relax and play our game, nobody expects us to beat them, there is no pressure on us but we will fancy our chances going into the game”.
Moore believes that the depth of experience in his squad will boost their chances of progressing into the Second Round of the competition.
The likes of Ryan Cresswell, Reda Johnson and Ryan Bird all have recent league experience on their CVs and Moore hopes to harness that ahead of the tie.
“Experience is always important, no matter what level you are at” said the former Hartlepool United boss.
“We have the likes of Cresswell, Bird, (Jason) Taylor, our goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, all vastly experienced figures.
“Then there is Reda Johnson(pictured left), he has been there and done it.
“Their know-how is vital, they know how to cope with games like this, how to manage situations and that will be a massive positive for us going into the game”
Moore’s side sit two points and three places outside of the Vanarama National League play-off spots and seem well set to challenge.
Ahead of their FA Cup showdown they face a tough trips to Lincoln City and Barrow, as well as a home tie against Kevin Nicholson’s Torquay United side.
Many a manager, particularly those at the top end of the game, may see the FA Cup as a hinderance, but that viewpoint was strongly refuted by Moore.
He said “The FA Cup is the FA Cup, it is a fantastic competition, it’s part of our heritage and Eastleigh made it to the Third Round last year don’t forget.
“Promotion is our aim, no doubt about that but the FA Cup offers us so much.
“We can have a breather from the league, where games come thick and fast.
“We can go and enjoy the FA Cup and that is what I have said to the lads. Our younger players can relish the FA Cup because they might not have had this sort of experience before.
“We won’t win it but it is a great experience and we can use the momentum to kick us on in the league”
It is just under two months since Moore stepped into the Spitfires hotseat, replacing former manager Chris Todd.
The impact he has made has been impressive, with a 1-0 home reverse against fellow promotion challengers Dagenham and Redbridge being the only negative result in his spell so far.
And despite initial uncertainty about moving back into the non-league game, Moore can see only positives for his tenure at Eastleigh.
“I started out in non-league at Southport a long time ago and there is always a worry
about going back into this level” he admitted.
“But as soon as I spoke to the chairman, as soon as I saw what the club was about, I thought it was a very good move.
“The chairman is unbelievable and their is a great set-up, in all honesty it is made for the Football League.
“We have a good chance to make it into the top five, obviously we want to win the league but our first aim is to get in that top five.
“It’s funny because when you are in the Football League you think it should only be two up, two down but when you come into this level, and see the strength of the league, you realise that it should be three sides promoted.
“That won’t happen, I don’t think it will anyway, but we are wanting to challenge, we want to get this club into the Football League and I want to be the one that gets this club promoted more than anything”
Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)