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Martin: "They applied themselves well"

29 October 2014

Manager pleased with performance as Barnet ease into first round of FA Cup.

Martin Allen was delighted to progress to the first round proper of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, as his side ran out 4-1 winners over Chelmsford City in a replay at The Hive.

Speaking after the game, the manager said:

“Saturday was a really difficult tie but thankfully the players tonight really applied themselves well and the crowd got behind them as well. To get ahead so early was crucial and then obviously when you are winning quite comfortably it is not always easy to keep that high tempo and high pressure like we had in the first half.

“To be fair to Chelmsford, they came back into the game and made a few passes and got that goal which was disappointing from our point of view. They had one shot I think in the second half and scored one goal so although they had a lot of the ball they didn’t really threaten our goal too much.

“The bottom line is that we are into the next round and that is the important thing at the end of this match.”

Martin made one change to the side that drew with the Clarets in the initial tie at Melboune Stadium by bringing in Luke Gambin, for whom he was full of praise as well as two of Barnet’s four goalscorers:

“Gambo has been fantastic. He has worked really hard and he deserves a place in the team, but the team keeps winning and keeps playing well. I had no hesitation tonight in playing him off the striker and getting him on the ball and he came up with some magic.

“If I had to pick – and I don’t normally pick – then David Stephens was probably our outstanding player. He was very unlucky not to score on Saturday. He has had a tremendous attitude in training and has been working very hard behind the scenes on attacking set plays and I thought tonight

“When people do work hard you want to see them get rewarded, and I was absolutely thrilled that he got that goal.

“Luisma is also getting fitter and stronger. He is a tremendous player to have in the team because he is always likely to score a goal. He is a good professional and a really good guy.

“The game on Saturday was a tough game to play in. Perhaps I should have done something different and rested him and then brought him on as the game opened up in the second half on Saturday in hindsight. He has been tremendous.”

Having successfully negotiated the replay Martin can now look forward to a first round tie with Wycombe, a game that although he admits he is looking forward to, is just the beginning in terms of his side’s aims and ambitions for the competition this season:

“It is going to be a big crowd isn’t it? Wycombe is only a half-hour away from here. Gareth Ainsworth has done a fantastic job with the team struggling at the end of last year and staying up by the skin of their teeth.

“He has brought in some good players and has a good squad and I guess for this you could say that we would be underdogs so it should be a good occasion.

“The goal and the aim is to get to the third round. Let’s not mess about, that’s the bottom line. The prize money to get to the third round is good, and if you manage to pull one of those big boys from the Premier League or the Championship then you can earn some wedge.

“That has been the aim from day one right at the start of the season and that is still the target.”

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