Martin Allen was full of praise for both his players and Barnet supporters on Saturday, as Barnet returned to the top of the Vanarama Conference table with a 1-0 win over Nuneaton Town at The Hive full of determination and perseverance.
Speaking after the game, the manager admitted that although the performance may not have been the best the players did enough to earn a crucial victory:
“It took a lot of guts and character to win that game. It was not fantastic to watch, but the aim of the game was to win. We played well at Alfreton last week and did not win.
“I would not say it is a sign of champions but it is the sign of a good team when you do not play well but can still come out and win.
“It was good for the players and good for the supporters – there was a fantastic atmosphere here again today. The crowd over the far side were right behind the team from the moment that everybody walked out and it is another three points on the board.”
John Akinde proved to be the match winner with his 30th league goal of the season, and after a having a difficult game last time out Martin was happy to see his top scorer back to his best by scoring an ‘unbelievable goal’:
“It is always good when you have got a player like that in your team that can score a goal like that out of nothing and what a goal it was – an unbelievable goal.
“I am really pleased for him because he has had a hard week, he has been pretty disappointed by giving away that penalty last week in extra-time but we have tried to help him get himself back together because he was more disappointed than anybody.”
The manager was also quick to praise his captain in Charlie MacDonald who made his comeback from injury and nearly opened the scoring when he hit the post in the first half before being replaced by Michael Gash on the hour mark:
“Charlie was always going to play for 60 minutes because that was his first game back. Charlie was really unlucky there. He has been superb in training and it was after that session on Tuesday where I decided to play him today.
“I like it when he plays for our team and I thought in front of our own supporters today, as our captain, he has been an iconic figure and I felt today was the right day to give him a go. It was a shame it didn’t go in but he will score for us before the end of the season.”
With just four games left to play, Martin finished by speaking of his pride in the entire squad as they gear up for another tough challenge on Monday against Dartford:
“The players have done this club proud. I am so proud of all of them. They don’t always play great – let’s be honest. But they keep going right to the end and are doing a great job for all of us.
“We have started straight away. The Chairman has got us some food into the dressing room and the preparation with the warm-down and rehydration and all that sort of stuff is underway.
“We will train very lightly tomorrow morning and then get ready for our game there. I would imagine that there will be a lot of Barnet supporters there making the trip so we will all be ready to go.”