Martin Allen says that it is time for his players to stop looking behind them as Barnet look to extend their lead at the top of the Vanarama Conference tomorrow with the visit of Woking to the Hive.
Speaking ahead of the game, the manager revealed that he almost has a full complement of players to choose from as he prepares for what promises to be an entertaining game against another side who are eyeing promotion to the Football League:
“We are at full strength. Elliott is fit, everybody else is fit and Nurse is due to come back into training after the Woking game.
“I have seen Woking a couple of times. I think they played really well against us when we played over there. They beat Barnet here 3-1 here last season.
“Garry Hill always puts good teams together and finds good players. His teams are always honest and hard working.
“He has an excellent coach in Steve Thompson who used to be at Yeovil during all their promotions, so the pair of them are a great combination.
“They have got a lot of talented players and it is an exciting week ahead going into February.”
The Bees are seven points clear at the top of the table, and with less than a third of the campaign remaining Martin now believes that it is time for both players and supporters to take confidence from their performances so far this season as they approach the season run-in:
“We are top of the league. I think our crowd, like the players, everyone is looking over their shoulder.
“We said the same thing in September, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we were top of the league at the end of October?’ At the end of October, everyone said, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we were top of the league at the end of November?’ At the end of November, everyone said, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we were top of the league at the end of December?’ Everyone is now saying, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we were top of the league at the end of February?’”
“It has not been through luck. It has been through hard work and dedication and I think I will remind the players it is time for all of them – now we have strengthened our squad – to push their shoulders back a little bit, get their heads back and stop looking behind them, and start realising that we are a good team.
“We do not have to think about or look at anybody else; we just need to do what we do and play our way of playing.
“I think the supporters need to try and do the same. Yes, it is edgy and nervy, and there are times to look over your shoulder and worry – but now is the time to step back and start relishing the challenge.”