Manager upbeat despite Hatters defeat.Martin Allen was more than happy with his squad’s performance on Sunday against Luton Town in their third pre-season friendly, despite Barnet going down 2-0 to last season’s Conference champions.
“I thought it was a fantastic performance, up until the 44th minute when they knocked that goal in. We more than matched Luton in the first half, we were dominating the game and we were well on top.
“I rested Gavin Mahon and Charlie MacDonald with a view to Tuesday night and I thought that all the players that came in acquitted themselves really well. I don’t think that there was anything between the two teams.”
Allen admitted that an even contest hinged on fine margins, but is pleased with how the bigger picture is shaping up:
“I thought it was a definite penalty in the first half on Akinde and that would have put us 1-0 up but we didn’t get that decision.
“The goal just before half-time was obviously a knock for everybody and as the game went on it opened up a little bit and perhaps they got back into the game more in the second half.
“There will be spells in games where the opposition are going to get more of the play. We’ve made a lot of changes again today so there are going to be little ups and downs but overall I’d say it’s been a good pre-season, I’m very happy with how it’s evolving, and it’s looking good.”
As well as personnel, Allen also adjusted his side’s formation to the one used in Barnet’s first two pre-season matches, and he admitted that he was pleased with the results:
“We played with a different system today, a different way of playing. We used that shape at the end of last season with two wingers, one up front and three midfield players, like a 4-3-3 rather than a 4-5-1.
“It was a very attacking way of playing and we had to get the ball down and try and pass it, because it was very hot and we did that very well and created a few chances.”
The game also saw Allen introduce four youth team players in Alfie Cain, Joe Gater and Harry and Jack Taylor towards the end, and he was clearly impressed with how they adapted:
“The lads in the youth team have been working hard, and the coaches there have also worked very hard with them and as you can see, they’re good players.
“They’re playing well and they’re good footballers so we need to introduce them and bring them forward with us.”
“Bringing those young lads on in the second half, and having four youth team players on the pitch for us, well I was chuffed to bits with that.”