EASTLEIGH will have to wait another week to get last Saturday’s Barrow blip out of their system.

The Spitfires are without a game this weekend due to Leyton Orient’s involvement in the FA Trophy and don’t return to action until Hartlepool United visit the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday, March 30 (3pm).

But rather than stewing on a 1-0 defeat by Barrow AFC, which saw them slip from sixth to seventh spot, manager Ben Strevens is hoping his play-off pushing side will benefit both physically and mentally from a spring break.

“When you’ve lost a game of football I’d rather have a game as quickly as possible afterwards,” he said.

“But very rarely in the season do you get a chance to have a bit of down time, spend time with the family and get yourself back on track.

“So I’m hoping that this two-week break from games – although I don’t really want it – might be good for us and re-energise us and we will come again.”

Given the compact size of Eastleigh’s squad and the inevitable wear and tear on bodies at this stage of the season, Strevens is hoping a rest will be no bad thing.

In the build-up to the Barrow game, he noticed some tell-tale signs of fatigue.

“The boys didn’t look themselves in training on the Thursday and Friday (before Barrow).

“There was a little bit of tiredness and I was just hoping they were saving themselves for the game, but we weren’t at our best against Barrow,” he said.

“I’m not making excuses for them because a lot of other teams are like us, working with a small squad, but I do think the lads need a bit of time off.

“There have been a couple of times when we’ve had a two-week break before and we’ve come back and won.

“Hopefully we can do the same this time in the two home games we’ve got coming up against Hartlepool and Barnet (Tuesday, April 2, 7.45pm).

“Ideally we don’t want a Saturday off, but sometimes it helps to be able to give the lads a bit of a rest," he added.

“We’ve got seven big games coming us in April and we need to keep the squad as fresh as we can.”

With eighth-placed Gateshead also out of action on Saturday, Eastleigh will stay inside the play-off zone in seventh.

But  Sutton United can move a point behind them if they win at Chesterfield (BT Sport, Saturday, 12.30pm), albeit that the Us will have played two games more than the Spitfires.

Ex-Saint Ian Baird has taken charge of Sutton for the rest of the season while fellow former Eastleigh boss Paul Doswell takes a break from football for personal reasons.