Barnet Football Club



Martin Allen: “It’s going to be a tough game”

Martin Allen feels that the Bees have to be at the top of their game when they take on Accrington Stanley this Saturday.

The Barnet manager will be looking to improve upon his team’s 4-0 defeat to Millwall in the EFL Cup, but believes that Tuesday night’s score line wasn’t a fair reflection of the match:

“I thought that we played very well in spells, but I’m obviously disappointed with the result,” he said.

“There were times in the game where I thought that we had some very good chances to get back into it.

“We could even have taken the lead, but if you don’t take those chances then you’re going to get punished.

“We gambled a little bit in the second half by changing the formation; sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.

“They punished us, but I think the performance was better than the score line suggests – it wasn’t actually too bad.”

One of the positives to come out of the Millwall game was Curtis Weston’s performance at right back. Martin was full of praise for the midfielder, saying:

“Curtis Weston can play in any position.

“He’s a sponge for information and he’s an absolute model professional footballer.

“Last year he played right wing at times for us, he’s played deep full back when we’ve had players sent off, he’s played behind the front striker, out on the left, the right and in the middle.

“Curtis is a key player and is so receptive to knowledge, always wanting to learn and improve.

“I don’t think any Barnet supporter will ever forget the goals that he scored in those last ten games, when we won promotion from the Conference.

“Those goals really helped us at a crucial time.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Accrington Stanley, the Barnet manager said:

“John Coleman seems to build new teams year in, year out.

“He always has new players and he always gets the best out of them.

“Accrington are very well organised, very focused and very motivated.

“He’s lost some good players, but once again he’s replaced them with more good players.

“With John you always know that it’s going to be a tough game.

“Once again we’re going to have to be right on the top of our game too.

“It was an excellent performance away at Cambridge in the league last Saturday, and this is our first league game of the season in front of our supporters.

“I’m hoping for a really good and positive crowd.

“We’ve got new players making their home league debut, so this is the start of the new competition for us.”

Martin also had an injury update for Bees fans:

“Jamie Stephens is now back in full training, but he’ll need a couple of weeks of training before he can be considered,” he said.

“So that’s good news.

“Jamal Campbell-Ryce has got a bit of a tight calf – I don’t think it’s quite a strain.

“But obviously we don’t want to risk it, with the number of games that we have in August.

“Gavin Hoyte is coming up to six months since his operation.

“He’s worked really hard and he’s in great shape.

“Gavin is seeing a consultant this week, but he is probably still a minimum of two to three months away from first team action.

“James Pearson has had a further scan on his knee and it’s likely that he’ll be out for four to six months.

“Harry Taylor has gone in there and done a superb job.

“He’s a 19-year-old who has just gone in and played there without any drama – he was superb last week against Cambridge.”