Martin Allen was a frustrated figure following Barnet’s 3-3 draw with Kidderminster on Saturday, as the Bees let a three-goal lead slip at home against the Harriers.
Speaking after the game, the manager reflected on what had gone wrong:
“It was a difficult ending to what was a superb first half performance. We’ve had a few of these games now where we have got ahead and we’ve looked comfortable. It is very disappointing for the supporters and for the players, just all round really – very disappointing.
“We played very well first half and there were a couple of little patches in the second half where I thought we did OK.
“We played some really good football in the first half and every team that comes here is going to find it difficult to beat. We tried to get the football down and play and pass it through and get our full-backs forward – which I thought looked really good today.
“Today we did change it: we brought in Cooky and Luisma and we wanted to get the ball moving around and having some interchanging of positions, which we did very well. In the second half obviously we lost our way.
“There are certainly little things that we need to improve on, but they have been areas where we have been very strong so far this season. We have had a little chat and worked out sometimes tactically we need to be a little bit different and change things.”
When asked to pinpoint what had brought about the turnaround, Martin was keen to take responsibility himself:
“They made a couple of substitutions at half-time and went a bit more direct and we never dealt with it, which is not like our players. They have been on it from day one but the second half we just weren’t quite there for some reason.
“I was wrong. I got it wrong – there is no doubt about that – and with hindsight, which is a wonderful thing, perhaps I should have done things differently.
“I took John Akinde off because he has had a tight hamstring before the game and I thought at 3-0 we would be able to get through to the end.
“He has got three yellow cards and he has had a tight hamstring before the match in the pre-match warm-up and I thought we would be able to get through to the end.
“Obviously I have got my eyes on the future – I do not want to lose him with a hamstring strain, but perhaps in hindsight, perhaps I should have left him on and gone through to the end with him.”
Half-time substitute Michael Gash appeared to control the ball with his arm in the build-up to Kidderminster’s first goal, but Martin was refusing to use that as an excuse for what followed:
“If the referee has not seen it we have to take it on the chin and we have to respect the referee’s decision.
“From day one we have not complained about any of the officials and we won’t – we won’t start now. The ref did an OK job today and I am not going to criticise the referee. More importantly I have to look at myself and the substitutions I made.”
Barnet’s next game is away to Gateshead who currently sit in third position just three points behind the Bees having gone unbeaten in nine games, and Martin is now fully focused on preparing for that crucial clash:
“It’s not easy to lift their spirits after that. We have got to get back in for training, have a look at the DVD and look at what has happened and why we didn’t win. We have got to get to the bottom of it and help them on Tuesday.
“There will be no shouting or ranting and raving, it’s just not worth it. We will help them, work on it, get the positives out of the performance and then try and improve the other areas that we haven’t done so well.”