Barnet Football Club



Martin Allen: “We’re evolving and moving forward”

Martin Allen was pleased with his side’s second half performance against promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle, as the Bees ran out 1-0 winners at The Hive.

Speaking after the match, Martin said:

“I thought it was an ok performance in the first half – Plymouth played quite well and I don’t think that we made our mark on the game.

“At half time I encouraged our players to show a bit more self-belief, tenacity and courage.

“We certainly stepped it up in the second half.

“We’ve got fourteen players in our squad, and four youth players.

“So it’s a nice feeling to have all those young lads around us.

“We’re changing who is playing game after game -everybody who has come in has done well.

“It was a very good second half performance that was up there with the best.

“Our recent matches have been tough games for the opposition.

“They’ve been difficult games for Portsmouth, Accrington and Plymouth.

“Playing against our team is tough.

“Nearly two years ago we played here against Halifax Town and the score was a 4-0 defeat.

“It could have been about twelve nil!

“From that day onwards we changed the whole group in a very short space of time.

“Then we had more changes in late December and early January this year.

“We’re evolving and moving forward as a group.

“There are some very good young players coming through on the periphery as well.

“Another young 18-year-old played tonight, so we’re all moving forward.

“It was a robbery at Accrington at the weekend, there’s no doubt about that – to rob the point in the last ten minutes was fantastic.

“But tonight I thought that we we’re good value for the win.

“You don’t get many chances against good teams at any level of football.

“Teams are well disciplined, well organised and have good players – this isn’t ‘two-bob’ football, this is good stuff.

“We don’t concede many chances and we haven’t been conceding many goals.

“The key is finding players to unlock doors and be good at set plays.

“With Andy Yiadom’s goal, it was a great move to switch him from left back to central midfield.

“Thankfully that tactical move worked for us tonight.”

The Bees manager also reflected on the performances of Mathew Stevens and new signing James Roberts, saying:

“James Roberts played well didn’t he?

“I’ve known about him for quite a while.

“I enquired about him a few weeks ago but he wasn’t available.

“Over the past few weeks we’ve lost Elliott Johnson, Shaun Batt and Chris Hackett through injury.

“That takes us down to thirteen senior players, plus Muggleton who has only just turned 20.

“I got a call from Oxford a couple of days ago; he was a sub for them on Friday I think.

“I know what he can do – he’s a good player who is only 19 years old.

“Maty Stevens has also done really well.

“If we’d been better as a team in the first half then he’d probably have scored.

“Perhaps he could have done with playing more in the second half, where more of the ball was up the other end of the pitch.

“But we didn’t dominate enough possession, so it was hard for Maty.

“Playing against the wind, I had to change it – it was nothing that he had done wrong, so all credit to him.

“Now we’ve brought in another young player in James Roberts.

“I know that he’s a good player – we’re going to look after him, and I’m pleased that Oxford have let us have him.”