FA Cup: Eastleigh boss Richard Hill relishing 'massive' tie

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Richard Hill

Eastleigh manager Richard Hill has urged his side not to "clam up" when they face Conference rivals Southport in a "massive" FA Cup tie on Sunday.

Hill's side take their place in the second round of the competition for the first time in their history.

And the Eastleigh boss is well aware of the enormity of the game.

"Games like this are why you get involved in football and why the chairman got involved in football," Hill told BBC South Today.

"The outcome of what could be is huge and that's where the apprehension comes from - what could be after this round?

BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend, who spent time with Hill this week:
"For someone who has coached in Kazakhstan and Ethiopia, Richard Hill is no stranger to challenges. In 2005, as assistant to Brian Little, he helped Tranmere to the quarter-finals of the Cup, losing to eventual finalists Millwall. But after an injury-hit playing career in the lower leagues and spells assisting the likes of Little and John Gregory, Hill knows that steering Eastleigh into the third round would be his best achievement in the game. The upwardly mobile Hampshire club opened a new 2000-seater stand this week, taking the ground to football league requirements. Now they want to get past Southport, draw a big league club and fill it."

"It could be a massive club or back to playing someone of a similar stature.

"The prize for all of us is exactly the same and you hope on the day that you don't clam up. If we don't play well, we won't win the game."

Eastleigh defeated Southport 2-1 in the league earlier this season and Hill is relishing Sunday's fixture.

"They were tough, we got lucky with an own goal but it's not like any Conference game," he said. "This is massive and the prize at the end of it is as big for us as it is for Southport.

"It's going to be massive for this club to be in the third round, it's huge for the fans and the town.

"If we can just get to the third round and draw league opposition - and again that will be the first time in the club's history that has happened.

Eastleigh chief executive Mark Jewell
"You just keep dreaming of what might happen and just hope to be in the hat on the BBC draw live on Monday night."

"It would mean everything to this club, it is something the fans would talk about for years to come."

Chief executive Mark Jewell said everyone at Eastleigh was thinking about the prospect of being in the third-round draw and potentially meeting Premier League opposition.

"To feel part of a football club that's involved in the second round of the Cup is a dream come true," he said. "I'm a little bit giddy myself.

"You always start thinking about who you could possibly get in the third round but we have got a job to do. Southport will be very, very difficult.

"You just keep dreaming of what might happen and just hope to be in the hat on the BBC draw live on Monday night."

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