Player-coach determined to continue excellent early-season form.Barnet goalkeeper Graham Stack is delighted with his start to the season, having kept four clean sheets during the Bees’ first five games, but is full of praise for everybody at the club in helping to make Barnet’s start to the campaign so successful.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Southport, the player-coach said:
“Everyone is buzzing, really. There is a real positive vibe around the place, training has been sharp and everyone has been at it. It’s been enjoyable and a good place to come on a daily basis because things are going quite well.
“With the team scoring plenty of goals and keeping clean sheets, there is reason to be positive at the minute. There’s a lot going right for us so we’ve just got to continue what we’ve been doing against Southport.”
Having had just four days off following a double-header over the Bank Holiday weekend, Stack acknowledges that the recent schedule has been touch but sees no reason why that should get in the way of the Bees continuing with their good recent form:
“I think that we have got a really fit squad. That is why we made pre-season as hard as we did because we know the demands of this league, we know that the games come thick and fast and there is a lot of travelling involved.
"We have prepared ourselves in the best possible way so I am sure that we can cope with the demands. A lot of the teams that we have to play against are part-time, so we should be in a far better position physically than all of those teams so we won’t make any excuses with the amount of games that we’ve got.”
Barnet enter into Saturday’s game on the back of two successive wins following their first defeat of the season against Lincoln, and Stack is determined that the team learn from that game in order to keep their current run of form going:
“Momentum is key, especially earlier on in the season when you want to give yourself a good start and we’ve done that.
“We have only not really performed for 45 minutes this season against Lincoln, and it just goes to show that in this league that is what will happen if you are not at it from the get-go.
“Otherwise, you will find yourselves conceding goals and having to try and get back in the game. We don’t want that to happen again, so it was a good lesson in that sense.”
Having now completed his first three weeks of competitive action in his new role as player-coach, Stack admits that he enjoying his new responsibility, although he is quick to share the credit with both his teammates and staff:
“It has been a change for Nursey and I from what we’ve been used to. Working alongside the gaffer has been brilliant because he has helped us a lot having done it for so many years, so that has made it a lot easier for us to settle in.
“In fairness the lads have been brilliant. They have made our lives a lot easier because any ideas that we have tried to implement, they have just got on with it. It’s not just the senior pros that have stepped up, it has been collectively.
“It’s also the little things where we get a lot of help from the staff. What goes on behind the scenes in terms of preparing for games, helping out in the dressing room with the kit and the skips, making sure that the food and buses are in place for when we are travelling away. We have all played our part in that and that makes our job a lot easier.”
With four clean sheets in five, the Bees’ goalkeeper is determined to continue his hot streak of form, although once again is refusing to take all of the plaudits:
“I’ve had six in a row before which was a little bit special and I think that I have had five in a row for Barnet, funnily enough in the season that we went down.
“I’ve not been inundated with shots to save but I have had to be on my mettle on a number of occasions and I think that the timing of the saves that I have made this season have been quite key.
“But defensively, and I’ve said it on a number of occasions before, our lives at the back are made a lot easier when you have got the other six lads in front working incredibly hard. That takes a lot of pressure of us as a back four and a goalkeeper so it is a testament to the team.
“As a goalkeeper I will always be judged on clean sheets but having a team in front of me like I have had has made my life a lot easier so I am delighted at the moment.”