BRINGING back familiar faces from a bygone era is not always the recipe for footballing success.

But targetman Craig McAllister reckons that, in Eastleigh’s case, the tactic is paying off.

The return of defender Paul Reid and striker Matt Tubbs worked a treat last weekend as the Spitfires despatched Barrow 2-0 for a long overdue first win of 2017.

It puts them level on points with Saturday's National League hosts Chester, who have themselves been having a rough time of it, losing seven of their last ten league games.

With Eastleigh’s confidence at an all-time low following the sacking of Martin Allen, returning director of football/caretaker boss Richard Hill has put his faith in players who care about the Spitfires as much as he does.

McAllister, who himself falls into that category after returning for his fourth spell at the club, said: “It lifts a few people when old faces come in.

“Sometimes it can be the wrong thing to do, but I came back to help get Eastleigh winning again and all the lads are buying into what Richard’s trying to do.

“Paul Reid's a leader and he wants to win.

“I don’t think he lost a header against Barrow. He was brilliant.

“The quality's always been here, but Richard's given the lads a bit more freedom to go out and play.

“We’ve been working really hard on shape since he walked in the door and that showed against Barrow, it worked to a tee.”

Allen was the third Eastleigh manager to have exited the club during a turbulent 2016/17 campaign.

And while chairman Stewart Donald has held his hands up to some poor decision-making, targetman McAllister insists the buck stops in the dressing room.

Eastleigh head to Chester's Deva Stadium on Saturday sitting 14th in the table, eight points above the drop zone, and the Bitterne-based striker stressed: “It’s not the club that’s underachieved this season, it’s the team.

“But we competed and showed how good we are against Barrow, so it’s a start.”

Former Pompey striker Tubbs, who plundered Eastleigh's second against Barrow on his first game back, said: "All I try and do is put myself in a position where I'm going to score goals, whatever level I'm at.

"I want to try and chip in with a few goals, get the club up the table and put them in good stead for next season.

"The Barrow game was brilliant for me confidence-wise and as a team.

"To get three points and score two goals will work absolute wonders for us.

"Hopefully it will be a little turning point with nine games left."