Barnet captain Charlie MacDonald was frustrated by the way that his team started the game in the 2-1 defeat to Lincoln on Saturday, and believes that the squad need to learn from the lesson if they are to challenge at the top of the table.
Speaking after the game, MacDonald said:
“It was very disappointing. We didn’t start very well at all. We’ve been very sharp in training and have had two really good results and performances so to start like that today, I can’t really put my finger on it to be honest.
“It was always an uphill battle and it was too little too late. We can’t start in games like that. When you set the standard like we have over the last two games you are there to be shot at, and we need to make sure that we stand up and be counted and be ready for a fight.
“Today we were physically out-battled in the first half. They wanted it just a little bit more. That wasn’t just one player, there were loads of us that weren’t on the front foot today, and that has ultimately cost us the three points.”
Barnet turned things around in the second half, pulling one back through Keanu Marsh-Brown and creating numerous opportunities as well as having three strong penalty appeals turned down.
MacDonald also hailed the impact of the second half substitutes in Sam Muggleton, Mauro Vilhete and Luke Gambin in helping turn Barnet’s performance around:
“We threw the kitchen sink at them in the second half. It shows the character of the lads that we’ve got in the dressing room. The gaffer has made the two changes and they have had a massive impact and given the manager something to think about.
“Luke Gambin has come on halfway through the second half and he’s been named as man of the match, so that’s how good a performance he’s put in.
“We’ve got players on the bench that can come on and make a difference, and we need that because we need to fight for our shirt every week and can’t get complacent.”
However, MacDonald was refusing to get downhearted after Barnet’s first defeat of the season, and believes that the squad can learn from the lesson in order to come back stronger during the rest of the campaign:
“We can’t start that way and give ourselves an uphill battle like that. Confidence should be sky-high the way that we’ve performed in the last two days but games are coming thick and fast, we are only three games in and still have another 43 games to go. We’ll put it aside, have a good weekend and come back in to go again on Tuesday.
“When you are top of the league in any division teams will come and up their game and want to play the best that they can, that is what teams are going to do when they come here to The Hive. But that is for us to deal with and we haven’t dealt with it today, but I’m confident that this squad will be up there for the majority of the season.”