Barnet Football Club



Martin Allen: “There’s a good team spirit”

Martin Allen spoke to this morning, ahead of training at The Hive.

The Bees manager began by reflecting on Saturday’s trip to Sixfields:

“I’ve got to say that I was very disappointed in the performance,” he said.

“We lacked energy and we lacked our usual positive attitude during the game.

“We’ve been on a good run of form recently, so I think that made the game particularly disappointing for me personally.

“We had a lot of supporters up there at Northampton, and it never happened for us from the first minute to the last.

“There are going to be games like that during the season.

“There were last year – a couple that spring to mind are away at Lincoln City and Grimsby Town.

“They were poor performances in both those games.

That can happen during a season, but we bounced back.

“The players have been absolutely superb over the past month – they really have adjusted and set down a marker.

“We’ve entertained the supporters, played good football, and done really well.

“So it was a knock-back on Saturday.

“But as I’ve always said, you’ve got to deal with that, cope with it, and expect it – because it is going to happen at some point in the season.

“We have to try and learn from the game.

“I have to ask myself if the team over-trained – it was our third match in a week whereas Northampton had just two games.

“So we were playing against a fresher, stronger team.

“But even so, I don’t think that we competed, and we didn’t play well in possession or out of possession.

“We had no control of the game whatsoever.

“So you could say that everything needs to improve in our play, right across the board.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash with Bristol Rovers, Martin said:

“The players have acquitted themselves very well on the training pitch.

“There’s a good team spirit, atmosphere and attitude amongst the group.

“We’ve reduced the numbers, which also helps to improve team spirit and camaraderie. 

“We’ve played much better football recently – everyone was absolutely delighted with the performance in the last home game.

“That was a great day to be involved in.

“Now we play our rivals Bristol Rovers.

“We’ve got a very good home record, they’ve got a good away record, and there’s rivalry between the two clubs.

“So we’re all looking forward to a great occasion on Saturday afternoon.”

Finally, Martin provided an injury update, saying:

“Well the manager’s got flu!

“On Saturday morning I was 50-50 about whether to go to that game or not.

“But my wife drove me up there.

“By the end of the game I felt twice as bad!

“It’s been a long, horrible, few days.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to working with the players on Thursday morning, and hopefully I’ll be feeling better.

“Michael Nelson is waiting for another consultant’s appointment, so he’s definitely out.

“Josh Clarke has gone back to Brentford now with a hamstring injury, and Jack Stacey has gone back to Reading.

“Graham Stack is seeing one of the top osteopaths in Swindon today, to help with his recovery.

“Bira Dembele has a few stitches in his head, but he should be fit for Saturday.

“Everybody else is fit and well.”