Barnet Football Club



Martin: “It was a difficult game”

Martin Allen praised his players for coming through a difficult encounter on Saturday, as Barnet drew 0-0 away at Concord Rangers to earn a replay at The Hive tomorrow night.

Speaking after the game, the manager acknowledged that conditions have proven difficult on the day, but that he felt his team had coped with the challenge well:

“I don’t think it was a great pitch to play too much football on, I don’t think anyone could deny that. You have to adapt and so we came here with a game plan to play a certain way. Let’s not beat about the bush, we weren’t going to be passing around the back four or passing around our own half on a pitch like that.

“I will be the first to say it was never going to be a pretty game of football – there were never going to be too many passes. The ball was very difficult to move for dribbling players because the grass is long and it was muddy.

“We had to get behind them and each time we did get behind them we nearly scored. I think we had three or four good opportunities from making those passes.”

Martin was also quick to acknowledge the opposition, with the Conference South side hitting the crossbar after just two minutes before going close on a number of occasions later in the game:

“What I do like about Concord Rangers is every player in their team and management is totally committed; they all know exactly what they are doing; they play with fire and they play with desire.

“You can see why their results recently have been very good – they are very strong. They have big players, tall players, good in the air and strong all round – it makes it difficult.”

Martin ended by praising the young players who featured in the game – with Joe Gater and Harry Taylor making their first senior starts before Charlie Kennedy came off the bench to make his first team debut:

“It was a very difficult game for them to come and play in, there is no doubt about it. They were playing a very big, strong, men’s team and there is a massive difference between where they play and coming to play here today.

“But through the whole week I have had these young players I have loved taking them training and working with them on Tuesday against Dagenham. I loved working with them on Thursday and Friday in preparation for this game and I think all the young players have done really well.

“We knew it was going to be like this, so in some ways you have got to give our players some credit for coming through it, especially with the young lads playing. But it will be a different game on Tuesday night – that is for sure.”