Barnet Football Club



Martin Allen: “Everybody has to be right on their game”

Martin Allen believes that the Bees have to be right on their game if they are going to beat Crawley Town on Saturday.

The Barnet manager will be hoping to build on Tuesday night’s positive performance against Blackpool, and began by looking back on our midweek draw:

“I thought we played very well and I don’t think that we deserved to be a goal down,” he said.

“It was a brilliant finish from their centre forward, to be fair to him.

“We had numerous opportunities – we went close but didn’t manage to convert them.

“The football was much better on the eye, which is something that we’ve been working on and practicing.

“We changed our tactics a little bit in the second half and tried to play a little bit more direct.

“Of course as the game went on we changed the formation too.

“We virtually played a 4-2-4 really.

“Yes they did have chances to extend their lead, but when you go looking for chances – as I like to do – then you’re going to leave yourself open.

“The pressure told in the end, with Luke Gambin, Shaun Batt and Sam Muggleton coming on.

“All three of them gave us something different.

“It’s really nice as a manager when you can do that, and I’m lucky that we can do that with the team we’ve now got at Barnet.

“When we scored I just felt very happy for the players and the supporters.

“It felt quite surreal really, it was a special moment that’s for sure.”

Elliott Johnson has played well in the Bees’ matches again Accrington Stanley and Blackpool, but Martin feels that the left back should aspire to even greater things:

“I’ve been impressed by Elliott Johnson since I arrived at the club,” he revealed.

“He really has grown in stature – he has grown physically with all the extra work that he has had to do.

“He has always been good technically, from when I first saw him.

“But for some reason over the last few years nothing has really happened with Elliott in his career.

“He was in and out of the team, but Elliott Johnson is a top player – he should be setting his goals much higher.

“We ended up with him playing central midfield the other night and he was playing left midfield last week.

“He can play left wing, left back and even centre back.

“Elliott is a good player and I’m really pleased with the way that he has embraced the extra work that he’s had to take on.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s match against the Red Devils, Barnet’s manager said:

“We’ve got a few minor knocks that we’ve been looking at this morning.

“We just need to look over three players, who I’m not going to name for obvious reasons.

“But I would say that we’ve got three who are struggling at the moment.

“It’s a totally different team that Crawley will have playing on Saturday, that’s for sure.

“Dermot Drummy has brought in his own players now, but has kept a few of the good players of course.

“It was a tight game when we played away at Crawley last season and our goals came very late in the match.

“They came on the counter attack after they had been pushing at our goal.

“So as always it will be a difficult game.

“It’s not far for our supporters to go, so I’m hoping that there will be quite a lot of Barnet fans – especially those that enjoyed the match on Tuesday night.

“I do realise how expensive it is at the moment though; coming to game after game after game, with so many matches in August.

“We’ve got to make sure that our attitude is right on Saturday and that we’ve got the tenacity to believe we can win.

“Everybody has to be right on their game, every time that we play.”