BEN Strevens wants Eastleigh fans to turn up the volume at the Silverlake Stadium tomorrow (3pm) for the return derby against Havant & Waterlooville.

Having led 2-0 at Westleigh Park on Boxing Day, the Spitfires were pegged back twice in a frantic finale which also saw Spitfires’ left wing-back Michael Green sent off.

And there is no doubt in Strevens’ mind that the Hawks’ passionate home support was influential in dragging Lee Bradbury’s men back from the brink after two-goal Paul McCallum had put the Spitfires in command.

“I’m hoping for a real good atmosphere at our place," said Strevens.

“In the last 20 minutes at Havant their crowd played a big part in getting them back into it.

“Tomorrow we need our crowd right behind the boys just as they were when we beat Harrogate a couple of weeks ago.

“My hope is for a really good atmosphere and a great day for the football club.”

Both sides suffered a Christmas hangover on Saturday with tenth-placed Eastleigh beaten 3-0 at Ebbsfleet, while Havant, 18th, were sunk by an identical scoreline at home to Bromley.

And, while not wishing to make excuses, Strevens felt the jam-packed festive programme had caught up with his players.

“It’s a hard schedule, not just for us, but for all of us at this time of year,” he said.

Premier League managers moan about it, but it’s worse at this level.

“We didn’t play well at Ebbsfleet, not through lack of effort, but people made mistakes they wouldn’t normally make and I think that was down to tired minds as well as tired bodies.

“We’re trying to manage the squad as best we can through this period and we’ve got a couple of weeks without a game after Solihull (away on Saturday), so the boys can have a bit of a breather then.

“We knew from the start of the season that we’d got quality in the squad, but we don’t have lots and lots of players.

“I don’t want a big squad because I don’t think that’s the right way to go and it’s good that the young lads are pushing for places.

“We may be one or two short of a workable squad, but I’m not moaning about it. It’s not often you have to play five games in 15 days.

“In a way it feels like we’ve lost the last two rather than just one because for 65 or 70 minutes at Havant we were excellent and it could have been three, four or even five-nil to us.

“I’ve watched it back and our players lost their heads a bit when a penalty was awarded against us (which Alfie Rutherford fired over) and in the last 20 minutes a lot of decisions went against us. But credit to Havant for staying in the game.”

Green still has two of a three-match ban to serve, while Danny Hollands remains sidelined through injury.

“Danny got a cut on the ankle against Harrogate which needed stitches. He was fine against Havant, but the cut got infected and became swollen and painful,” Strevens explained.

“He’s been brilliant for us and was a miss on Saturday. But he’s on antibiotics and should be okay for the weekend.”

Reda Johnson and Joey Jones are rated 50-50 for tomorrow, but pivotal frontman McCallum is ready to return to the starting 11 after resting a groin strain.