ANDY Hessenthaler is enjoying life at Eastleigh and is “100 per cent committed” to staying on as manager of the National League club next season.

In a radio interview last weekend, chairman Stewart Donald revealed that Hessenthaler was not under contract and that the club were “working week by week” with the former Gillingham and Orient boss, who stepped into the hot seat in December when Richard Hill moved upstairs.

Donald went on to say: “We work on trust really. If he ever wanted to leave, he could, but we never want that. Hopefully we’ll just go on being more and more successful.”

The good news for Spitfires fans is that the feeling is mutual.

Hessenthaler, who has lost just one game at the helm – last Saturday’s 2-0 home reverse against Boreham Wood – said: “I want to stay.

“If the chairman came to me and said I want to give you a contract and tie you up for two years, I’d do that, but I’m comfortable with the agreement we’ve got and, as far as the future’s concerned, I’m committed.

“It’s an exciting project to try and get the club into the Football League and I hope we can achieve it together.

“Contract or no contract, if we’re all comfortable with the situation then let’s get on with the job.

“The club needs stability and hopefully that can be with me.

“It was disappointing to suffer a first defeat in ten last week, but I’m enjoying the job and I want to stay.

“Promotion is not easy to achieve because this is a good league and everyone’s trying to achieve the same thing.

“It makes it extra difficult when it’s just one up automatically and one through the play-offs and I think that needs looking at. I still think it should be two straight up and maybe one via the play-offs.”

Having seen one unbeaten run come to an end, Eastleigh are keen to embark on another at second-to-bottom Chester on Saturday.

Fit-again midfielder Danny Hollands returns to the squad and striker Paul McCallum will travel but is more likely to feature in Tuesday’s 16 at Maidenhead.

Reda Johnson trained again this week, but Hessenthaler wants to “tread carefully” with the giant centre-back who has been out long-term with hamstring problems.

Ross Flitney may or may not be on the bench, but will travel to Chester in any case as goalkeeper coach.

Eastleigh meanwhile have allowed young centre-back Harvey Read to join Gosport Borough on a youth loan.

His debut last week coincided with a 1-1 draw for Borough, who had previously been leaking goals for fun at the foot of the Evo-Stik South Premier.

“It was a good start for him. Craig (McAllister, ex-Eastleigh striker) is down there and that can only help him,” said Hessenthaler.