Martin Allen was full of praise for both players and supporters following Barnet’s win over Dartford at Princes Park on Monday to keep the Bees one point clear at the top of the Vanarama Conference.
Speaking after the game, the manager reflected on a second 1-0 victory in the space of three days that saw Barnet earn another three points with a resilient and clinical performance:
“It was a difficult game. We knew that Dartford were fighting for their lives. It was a good win – it was not spectacular – but at the moment it is just doing our job. We are keeping clean sheets and have got enough goal-scorers in our team.
“You have got to give credit to our players because we stopped them getting in. Part of the job of coaching is stopping the opposition and that is what they did.
“People see it as negative but I don’t, you are nullifying the opposition’s attack. If you make a chess move you have got to do something to respond, you can’t just ignore it and hope they don’t score.
“A lot of Barnet supporters here made it a very special afternoon and our players did their job right the way through to the last minute.”
Curtis Weston proved to be the match winner with a superb half-volley into the top corner after half an hour, and having notched is fourth goal in six games Martin could not speak highly enough of the man wearing the armband in the absence of Charlie MacDonald before praising the entire squad for their current six-game unbeaten run:
“Curtis has been a fantastic player since I have been here. He is such a down-to-earth guy, he has got massive talent and I think he probably just needed someone to believe in him and some help and some guidance.
“We moved a lot of players around so a lot of the players that did not play on Saturday played today, but I have got total confidence in every player that they can do their job – and they did it. They know that I believe in them.
“The thing is at this end of the season it can be diffiuclt for the players. We want them to go out and pass the ball around and play with freedom and play with confidence but we are in a great position and we have so much to play for.
“The tension and the expectation builds anxiety and we see it in all levels of football and all other sports.
“After what was a very tricky spell, a lot of credit must go to the players for the way that they have just managed to grind out results.”
Martin finished by singing the praises of the travelling Bee Army, who travelled in great number and voice to cheer the Bees on to their twelfth away win of the season:
“They didn’t stop, did they? Somebody told me last week that we have set up this new initiative with a singing section and I think that we must have had each and every one of them here from the beginning right the way through to the end.
“It is not easy watching us at the moment. I fully understand any supporters saying that it is not great to watch at the moment – it isn’t easy for me either!
“For our supporters, I think today they would have been very pleased with a well-disciplined, solid, organised, hard-working Barnet team that has come away from home and done the job.”