AS a life-long Leicester City fan, Richard Hill allowed himself a smile when news came through that the Foxes were on their way back to the Premier League for the first time in a decade.
After beating Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, Leicester – managed by ex-Saint boss Nigel Pearson – had their promotion confirmed on Saturday by QPR’s defeat at Bournemouth and Derby’s failure to win at Middlesbrough.
But with his own side, Eastleigh, standing on the brink of promotion to non-League’s top table, Hinckley-born Hill – who saw his first Leicester match as a five-year-old – is keeping the celebrations on hold.
“I was made up on Saturday when the QPR and Derby results came through and had a good smile on my face,” he said.
“But there’s no time to celebrate because I’ve still got a job to do with Eastleigh and we’ve got to keep on being professional.”
Although Hill, pictured, would never be as presumptuous as to speculate on a Leicester-Eastleigh title double, you wouldn’t bet against it following the Spitfires’ 3-2 home win over Whitehawk.
Heading into this evening’s weather-delayed fixture at Bromley (7.45pm), the Spitfires are five points clear of Paul Doswell’s Sutton United at the Skrill Conference South summit with former league leaders Bromley a further point behind.
Irrespective of what their rivals do, ten points from their last six games will guarantee the Spitfires the title and automatic promotion.
“I didn’t tell the players that Saturday’s was a must-win game but, for me, that was a big result,” admitted Hill.
“But it’s going to be tough tonight because (Bromley boss) Mark Goldberg said they’ve got to win every game, so we’ll know their tactics from the word ‘go’.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Mark, he’s a lovely man, but they’ll be out to win the match and so will we.
“What I would say though is that the pressure on my players is not as great now as it would have been had we played Bromley on the original date. If we’d played them then and got beat, they would have opened up a 17-point gap which would have been a lot to make up at that stage.”
The Spitfires were still without hamstring victim Dean Beckwith against Whitehawk, but the big centre-back came through training with no problem. Midfielder Jamie Collins also did some gentle training after limping off with a thigh strain on Saturday.