Barnet manager Martin Allen has revealed that he is proud to be managing the Bees, for their first ever Football League match at The Hive.
Speaking before the home game against Wycombe Wanderers, Martin said:
“It’s an amazing feeling, creating history.
“This is an historic game for this football club; the first Football League match ever to be played at The Hive.
“It’s very special and I’m very proud to be the manager.
“All the players that were here with me when I started about 16 months ago have worked so hard.
“For them to have come this far in such a short space of time together, and now to see them playing in the Football League… It’s a great feeling, and I am very proud of them all.”
The Bees manager was full of praise for opponents Wycombe Wanderers’ achievements last season, saying:
“Gareth Ainsworth’s got a really good team together.
“He’s done very well in the loan market – he only worked with 18 players last season.
“I think they were top of the league for most of the season, so they are a benchmark for where we’ve got to get to as a club, as a team, as a squad and as a fan base – their supporters were full of energy last year.
“I went to a few of their games because I knew we’d be playing them this season.
“So all in all, it’s an historic game, our first Football League match, against an excellent team.
“I would also expect quite a big crowd for what is a local derby.”
Allen also expressed his surprise and delight at the Bees excellent support on Tuesday night at Millwall:
“I was quite surprised by the crowd that came to Millwall,” he said.
“There were so many who went to Orient for our first Football League game in years.
“I didn’t expect them to be there on Tuesday night, I really didn’t.
“I thought there might have been a sprinkling of fans, but I think there was about 5000 in the stadium all together.
“You wouldn’t have known it – I think we had about 500 supporters, but it felt like we had 5000.
“They sung from the start to the finish.
“For a brief few minutes in the second half it went wrong when they scored.
“Our fans, and this is where the credit is due, they got even louder.
“They went up another level, like the way our team went up another level on the pitch.
“So I believe all these things are key factors in being successful, on and off the field, with everybody doing the same thing.
Michael Gash sustained a head injury on Tuesday night, and Allen has an update on his condition for Bees supporters:
“He’s got a proper cut on the side of his head – credit to the bloke, he played on.
“He went back on and won more headers.
“He’s a hard man, he’s a brave man and he’s a very focused man.
“So we’ll give him a fitness test tomorrow at 1pm to see how he is.
“He was never unconscious, he was always fully aware, and we’ve had him checked out by the doctor.
“We’ll make sure he’s 100% because I would never ever take a risk or gamble with the health of any of our players.
“Their health is more important to me than a football match.
“So we’ll check him out tomorrow, see how he is, and go from there.
“But it’s 50-50 with Michael at the moment.”