Barnet Football Club



Martin Allen: “We’ve still got to improve”

Martin Allen feels that there is still room for improvement from his Barnet team, despite being pleased with their performances so far this season.

Looking back on the Bees’ recent 1-1 draw with Crawley Town, Martin said:

“I thought it was quite a good performance – quite good considering they’re second in the league, which I only found out afterwards.

“We should have won that game comfortably because we had lots of chances and loads of opportunities.

“We had some very good passages of play too.

“There were less chances when we won 3-0 at the end of last season.

“But the group is looking good, I’m happy with how they’re playing and I’m happy with the commitment & courage that they’re showing.

“There’s still a lot that we can keep improving on though, without a shadow of a doubt.”

New arrivals Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Alex Nicholls, Josh Vickers and Ryan Watson have played a big part in the Bees’ first few games, and Martin revealed that he has been pleased with their contributions so far:

“Our new signings are good people, they’re hungry and they’re down to earth,” he said.

“They’re hard working and they’re all free transfers – so they’ve come here to show what they can do.

“They’re conscientious and humble, and have certainly improved us from where we were last season.

“They’ve brought a lot more quality into the group.”

Jamie Stephens returned to the Barnet substitutes’ bench against Crawley Town and Martin had an update on his progress for Bees’ fans:

“Jamie is doing very well,” he said.

“He’s played one reserve game and then we had an 11 v 11 match on Monday morning, for all the players that didn’t play at Crawley.

“I got the chance to see it and he played very well in that game.

“He’s coming along nicely but still isn’t 100% right.

“I thought that the best thing to do was to put him on the bench to whet his appetite.

“Jamie always works hard though and he’ close to being ready now.”

Looking ahead to the week in training, Barnet’s manager said:

“It’s a case of sharpening up on minor things really.

“We’ve done all the work during the five weeks of pre-season training and had some long days.

“We got the players ready and put everything in place, so everything has really been done.

“Now it’s just reminders and coaching sessions out on the training pitch.

“We’ll also work with the DVDs, films and clips of the players’ performances, to see where we can improve.

“We’re just tweaking it now, rather than making massive changes.

“It’s about keeping the belief in these players – including the pre-season games I think we’ve only lost one match in quite a while now.

“But we’ve still got to improve on that.

“I don’t want to accept just being an average mid-table group and I’m not going to accept that.

“This group can do much, much better and we have to.”