Barnet Football Club


Martin Allen: “We will have to be at our very best”

Martin Allen believes that Barnet will have to be at the top of their game if they are to secure a result against Mansfield Town on Saturday.

The Bees’ manager will have been buoyed by a solid first half performance against Newport County last weekend, before the match was called off due to a waterlogged pitch:

“I thought that we played ok against Newport and that we had a couple of good chances early on to get ahead,” said Martin.

“We could have passed the ball better, which is something that we’ve been working on of course.

“But overall I thought that we did ok, especially as the game wore on and more rain began to pour down.

“The puddles were getting bigger and more difficult to play in.

“But as we know with our players, they always give everything that they’ve got.

“It’s just a disappointment that the match was called off immediately at half time.”

Ben Tomlinson made his first start of the season against the Exiles and Martin was pleased with the forward’s performance:

“Ben played very well and he’s been doing well in training,” he revealed.

“I’ve always said that the door is never closed on anybody and he was buzzing to be involved.

“To make the pass for the goal will do his confidence some good.

“He’s a great lad – if everybody knew him then they’d realise what a lovely lad he is.

“He really does train his hardest and is very conscientious with a great attitude.

“It was pleasing for him to get out there and do so well.”

Luke Gambin missed Saturday’s match in Wales after being called up to the Malta squad for a World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

Martin was delighted to see the Barnet winger in action for his national team, saying:

“I was proud to see Luke playing for Malta against Scotland – a couple of years ago he was struggling and didn’t play many games that season.

“He was behind Lee Cook in the promotion winning campaign, but made around 40 appearances last year.

“His progress and development over the last couple of seasons has been amazing.

“So I am very proud of him, he’s a great lad.

“I did watch the game live on Sunday night.

“Believe it or not, it got to the last few minutes and my wife said ‘can we turn it over now because I’m taping X Factor’.

“So I said ‘yes darling, no problem’ and watched X Factor with her.

“Then early Monday morning an arranged phone call came in from Luke – I said how well he’d played and how pleased I was with him.

“I never mentioned that he’d been sent off because I didn’t know!

“When I got into work someone said ‘that’s a shame that Gambo got sent off’ and I didn’t even know about it!

“It’s a shame that he’s not going to get the chance to play at Wembley, but I suppose at least he can play for us which is good news.

“He’ll be involved with us on Saturday.

“Thank God that transfer deadline is out of the way because it has been stirring issues up behind the scenes, left, right and centre.

“Thankfully that is now out of the way, he’s played brilliantly for his country & now I want to see him back for us and buzzing.”

 Ross Eames’ Barnet team beat a Southend United XI at The Hive on Tuesday afternoon and the Bees’ manager was pleased with what he saw from the players on display:

"It does give me headaches – those players are playing so well and it was an outstanding performance,” he said.

They are so close to playing in the first team; we saw Justin Amaluzor come on at MK Dons and play well, and Harry Taylor has come in and done so well at right back.

"Harry’s little brother, Jack, has also been fantastic.

“Fumnaya Shomotun played his best game in a long time – he was outstanding, and Wesley Fonguck has grown in confidence.

"Joe Payne was a substitute at Newport County and I don’t think many of the fans know him.

“He’s only 16 or 17 and has done tremendously well.

“Nana Kyei is nearly back to full fitness and Shane Cojocarel is doing well too.

"Tom Day has been in and around the first team but he got concussion in that collision with Bira Dembele, so that is why he hasn’t been available for the last couple of weeks.

“All Barnet supporters know he is a good player.

“So they are all close to the first team.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s clash with Mansfield Town, Martin said:

"Adam Murray lost some good players in the summer but replaced them with some good signings.

“He is a very good manager and they played very well here last season when they beat us.

"Adam conducted himself really well and I was impressed by him as a person.

“So I have kept an eye on him and I think he is one that people will be looking at in the future.

“He is young, has good energy and I think he is a good up-and-coming manager.

"As I always say, we will have to be at our very best to get anything from the game."

Finally, Martin had an injury update for Barnet fans, saying:

"Michael Gash had his operation in central London on Tuesday morning, so he is back at home now.

“Gavin Hoyte is probably a month away from starting training with Ross’ group.

“James Pearson is walking on his crutches which is good news, but we all know that he’s a long way off.

"Tom Day has concussion and Bira Dembele has bruised ribs.

“He had a scan and there were no cracks, just bruising on the area which is very sensitive.

“We have missed Bira because he has been good in pre-season.

"Nana Kyei is back in training after his foot injury.

“We all saw how good he was at the end of last season, away at Crawley when we won 3-0.

“Nana was the best player on the pitch, so I’m waiting for him to make that step up now."




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