Eastleigh boss predicts ‘mixed’ reception for his old gaffer when Chesterfield visit

Chesterfield FC Manager Martin Allen before the match between against Havant & Waterlooville FC at The Proact Stadium Chesterfield - 17-11-18'Image by Jez Tighe
Chesterfield FC Manager Martin Allen before the match between against Havant & Waterlooville FC at The Proact Stadium Chesterfield - 17-11-18'Image by Jez Tighe
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Ben Strevens expects Martin Allen to get a ‘mixed’ reception at former club Eastleigh today.

Chesterfield’s manager had a short spell in charge of Eastleigh in the 2016/17 season.

Chesterfield v Wycombe.....Spirites Deane Smalley gets to grips with Wanderers Ben Strevens

Chesterfield v Wycombe.....Spirites Deane Smalley gets to grips with Wanderers Ben Strevens

Strevens, who has just been appointed as the Spitfires’ boss, has a long association with Allen since his playing days.

They enjoyed title success together at Gillingham and the 38-year-old admits it will be an unusual experience managing against his old gaffer.

“It’s going to be weird being in the opposite dugout to Martin,” he told the Daily Echo.

“He’s a different character to me, he’s quite animated on the touchline.”

Allen and Strevens worked together for the first time at Barnet, before reuniting at Gillingham and then Eastleigh.

“I was about 19 or 20 when Martin came to Barnet to help with training and then became assistant and eventually manager,” said Strevens.

“I can only talk as I find and he’s been great for me in my career.

“When he left Barnet for Brentford we were all gutted. Then at Gillingham we won the league.”

At Eastleigh, there was no repeat of the Gills glory days.

And although he insists it wasn’t down to Allen’s lack of trying, he admits there will be some in the Silverlake crowd who won’t remember their former manager so fondly.

“I think he’ll get a mixed reaction, but Eastleigh fans are quite respectful.

“Martin’s got a real fun personality and he’s great to be around.

“Results didn’t go his way here, but not for lack of effort or hard work. He’s really good at all the small details in terms of organisation and planning.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for him, but sometimes, hard as you try, things don’t go right.”