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Martin: "It was a very good test for us"

30 July 2014

Manager upbeat after tough Margate test.

Martin Allen was in a reflective mood following Barnet’s 2-1 friendly defeat against Margate on Tuesday night.

Speaking after the game, he admitted that his side were slightly below par during a first half which saw his son Charlie give the home side the lead:

“I thought that the first half was very testing, very tough. It is a difficult place to come and play. In the first half I thought that we were just a little bit below where we have been recently and we didn’t impose ourselves on the game.

“You could say that it was a game of two halves, but even in the first half we had a few good chances and good phases and passages of play but when it got to the final third we weren’t quite managing to convert those.”

The manager made four substitutions at half-time, and was pleased with the improvement in performance of the team during the second period:

“In the second half with the changes that we made I thought that we looked very strong. We showed more urgency, we played with a higher tempo, we played higher up the pitch and we played the type of football that I want to see us play. We were much, much better and some of the players that came on for the second half have really turned the game around to be honest.

“We created some great chances and opportunities and I thought that we fully deserved to win the second half but they broke away and scored with their first shot of the half which has happened in another game at home against Luton.

 “We’ve been punished twice when we’ve had so many opportunities, so many crosses going into their box but we just haven’t managed to beat the goalkeeper, who made some fantastic saves and was made man of the match.”

Despite the result, the manager was optimistic about what he had seen during a tricky encounter:

“I know how difficult it is to come here and play. A Wolves team came down here and lost 5-1, and a Wimbledon team came and lost 3-0. I knew what the game was going to be like, so I’m really pleased that we took this fixture. They’ve got some good players and it was a very good test for us.

“Some of our players tonight have played really well and I am absolutely delighted with them. I think that some of our players going home tonight will probably be a little bit disappointed but overall it has been fantastic for me to see how our players cope with playing away from home, in a very difficult place to come and play against a very good team at this level.

“We looked very fit, very strong and we’ve got no injuries. Tonight’s game has given me a lot to learn from for sure, now it’s all about getting the balance right and getting a winning team. Overall there were some good points and some not so good points, but it all augurs well for our next away game against Chester.”

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