Martin Allen was full of praise for his squad after Barnet beat Dartford 4-0 at The Hive on Monday to move up to second in the Vanarama Conference table.
Speaking after the game, the manager said:
“It was a good win. I thought they made it very difficult for us in the first half but as the game went on, I thought we got stronger and better and it was a good win the in the end.
“You go right through the team, and they may not have scored the goals which everybody sees, but they’ve all done things individually and collectively which have helped us win the game.
“We’ve zipped the ball around on the grass as well today, which was nice to see – one and two touch – and mixed it up with some good forward play, so things are going in the right direction, that’s for sure.
“Two wins in three days is good going. Two cleans sheets. On and off the field, the squad is buzzing.”
Having made three changes to the side that beat Nuneaton on Saturday, Martin was particularly pleased with how the new faces acquitted themselves, although he did admit that juggling his talented squad was proving to be quite a challenge:
“I’ve said from day one, we’re going to have a squad of players and all of the squad can go and play. They’ve all trained so hard; it’s hard to leave them out at times.
“In training this week Saville’s been good, Luisma’s done his bit today, Mekki’s done his bit and Jamal Lowe got half an hour the other day, so we’ve got everybody hopefully on side.
“As a manager you can’t keep everybody happy but I do my best to give them game time and reward them for their good work on the training pitch.
“Not even on the bench today were Mauro and Elliot Johnson – can you imagine that conversation in my office before the game? “You’re not playing, you’re not sub and you’ve got to train afterwards. Oh and by the way, two days ago, both of you were absolutely fantastic.”
“I think we’ve got to make sure all these players in our squad are involved and get games. The important thing is I trust in them and believe in them.”
He also praised the impact of his substitutes, with Lee Cook grabbing a second-half hat-trick and Luke Gambin winning the penalty for the fourth:
“Cook with his left foot – which is like a wand, let’s be honest – was always going to score goals.
“Gambin, we saw again today he’s come on as a sub and made a difference – which he did against Wycombe and Lincoln. He wasn’t even on the bench for us 48 hours ago.
“Marsh-Brown this week in training has been superb. I thought it would be good for him, in front of our home supporters, to give him that little job again today, because he has had an up-and-down time.
“It’s not been easy for him, so I really wanted him to go on there today and show all the supporters he does care; he is conscientious and he is playing his part.”
Following this afternoon’s results Barnet are now joint top scorers in the league, and the manager admitted that he is pleased with how dangerous his side look going forward:
“It’s got to be said, they’re creating chances. We’ve got goals right through the team. We must all have known from the stats over the last three years that MacDonald and Akinde were going to score goals.
“And from set-plays, Bondz N’Gala, Saville and Akinde all look a threat to me. So we’ve got goals in open play and from set-plays. They look happy; they look as though they’re confident.”
The manager was once again keen to highlight the role of the supporters in helping the team claim another valuable victory, and feels the bond between the players and the fans is strengthening by the game:
“The place is buzzing, and the atmosphere in the second half was tremendous. When you sit in the technical area and hear it, it makes me smile.
“The atmosphere is coming now. It was pouring with rain here today but the place was alive, it was on fire. That vibrant buzz of coming to watch and that excitement of football in the pouring rain, it’s pretty good.
You can feel it happening; it’s happening – that’s for sure.”