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Hill: Spitfires need a killer instinct
The Spitfires entertain Oxford City looking avenge a 3-1 defeat at the same stage of the competition two years ago and Hill wants to see them take a bigger percentage of their chances.
Eastleigh had stacks of possession at Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday, but slumped to their second defeat of the Skrill Conference South campaign, losing 3-1 at Stonebridge Road.
They still top the table with 23 points from 11 games, but have scored just 15 league goals despite a veritable treasure trove of attacking talent including Ben Stevens, Jai Reason, Craig McAllister, Ben Strevens and Stuart Fleetwood.
“We played some very, very good football at Ebbsfleet,” said Hill.
“We were the better team and had plenty of possession, but we just weren’t clinical enough.
“We need to find a bit of a cutting edge from somewhere because the percentage of goals scored to chances created isn’t as good as it should be with the players we’ve got. And the players know that as well.
“This team is made for someone to finish the season with 25 goals.”
Asked if he has that sharp-shooter in the ranks, Hill said: “It’s whoever wants to do it.
“Fleetwood and Strevens have both been scorers, as has Yemi. And Jai got goals for us last season.
“It’s imperative we start scoring more and hopefully the penny will drop with one of them.
“We can’t keep creating as many chances as we do and not taking them. We’re just missing the icing on the cake.” Although Hill concedes that Eastleigh sometimes involve so many players in their attacking build-up that it can leave them light in the box, he has no plans to change.
“We’ve got to the top of the league playing how we play, so you’d like to think there’s not too much wrong,” he said.
“When you play like we play, you can’t have it all ways, but it’s not my style to stick six in the box, get the ball out from the back and just smash it forward.
“We’re going to stay nice and positive and encourage the lads to keep creating chances.
“I’ve heard fans say we need a new striker – they’re good at spending other people’s money!
“I’m sure that if their wife came home with a new dress and she already had five perfectly good ones, they’d say: ‘what do you need a new one for?’ “But if I think the time’s right to sign someone and it would make a difference, I would go and ask if there was money available.” After a win-less start to 2013/14, Oxford broke their duck in the last round of the Cup against Maidenhead and followed it up with their first Conference North victory, beating Stalybridge Celtic 2-1 at home last week.
Jamie Cook gave them a 15th-minute lead and, within a matter of seconds, 35-year-old ex-Saint Steve Basham had doubled it.
Basham, whose family hail from North Baddesley, scored one goal and missed a penalty when Oxford burst Eastleigh’s FA Cup bubble two years ago.
Hill said: “Steve’s been a good player. His best years are behind him in football terms, but I’ve no doubt whatsoever that if you give someone like him half a chance, he could punish you. Good strikers don’t lose that instinct.”
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