Barnet Football Club



Martin: “The job is to win games”

Martin Allen was a satisfied man on Saturday following his side’s 2-1 win over Woking at The Hive to keep them seven points clear at the top of the Vanarama Conference.

Speaking after the game, the manager praised the focus and determination shown by his players in seeing off a Woking side that are also fighting for promotion and against whom the Bees had not previously won since 2002:

“No doubt about it, it was always going to be a tough day. This club hasn’t beaten Woking in years, they got smashed here 3-1 last year.

“I thought we played with courage. We tried to play some good football and we moved the ball around the pitch well which is what I want to see. It looked at one stage like it would be a comfortable victory until they scored with their first shot of the second half.

“Of course, let’s be honest, it was a tricky, testing, nervy, edgy last ten minutes as it was always going to be. But the players stood it out, they defended the box valiantly and it is yet another three points on the board for our club.”

During the game Martin introduced both January acquisitions from the bench in the shape of Conor Clifford and Michael Gash, as well as throwing on David Stephens as a late substitute, and he acknowledged that the squad at his disposal is now as good as it’s ever been as competition for places increases:

“Gash is a better player than I thought, to be honest. In training the last couple of weeks he has lost a lot of weight and improved his level of fitness. He is a tremendous character around the group and he is a good player.

“With Clifford I could not really change a team that had just won 4-0. Togwell and Weston have got us into this position at the top of the league and it would take a mad man to now replace them and leave them out. Conor is here to add strength and cover and he is a good player – I thought he did very well.”

With just thirteen games of the regular season remaining, Martin is now urging his players to not get carried away as they look to maintain the position that they have held at the top of the league for over five months:

“It is about who can hold their nerve and thrive in these testing times. It’s not always fluent, it is not always easy on the eye – but the job is to win the games and get points on the board.

“I am very pleased with the players and I am very pleased with the supporters. It is not rocket science, we have just got to keep doing our job and we can’t be looking at what everyone else is doing – everyone else is looking at what we are doing.

“When you are in this position you do just have to concentrate on what you are doing and having good habits, good standards around the training pitch, in the dressing room, being professional, looking after each other and just doing the job.

“You can’t get carried away thinking you have got to do something different or carried away thinking that you are really good. We have to keep our feet on the ground and keep doing what we have been doing since we started together last July.”