The Bees manager reflects on his side’s first three points of the season.Barnet manager Martin Allen was pleased with the win over Northampton Town, but believes that his team has played better in previous matches this season.
Speaking after the game, Martin said:
“It’s a funny game - the other performances this season have been much better than that today, but we’ve come away with a win.
“I think it’s a relief for the players, and probably a massive relief for the supporters.
Both the Bees’ goals came in the second half, and Martin revealed:
“The players need a bit of help and a bit of encouragement at half time.
“They needed a little bit of support.
“We’ve been playing very well, we’ve played much better than we were playing tonight and lost.
“So I just tried to help them at half time; kept encouraging them, supporting them, and it was good that the crowd got behind them.
“We didn’t have as many chances tonight as we’ve had in the other games.
“But it’s a good result - good for the players, good for the supporters, and now we go into our next game with three points on the board, which is always nice.
“The players can’t play well every game - how many times last year did we not play that well but win 1-0?
“Without playing great, without doing anything special we won.
“And tonight I don’t think that we did anything special but we did the job.
“When you don’t win for a few games there’s always bound to be that bit of nervous tension.
“It’s my job to help the players with that; to look after them, support them, and guide them through it -like we did last year when we had a tricky spell.
“We kept going right the way through to the end and won a championship.
We were playing against a good team tonight, they’ve got good players.
“Chris Wilder puts together good teams.
“So it was an ok performance, and it’s nice for all the players to get something on the board.”
The introduction of Luke Gambin off the bench helped to liven up the match, and the Barnet manager was pleased with his contribution:
“We defended resolutely and I think that the substitutions certainly brightened up the energy, with Gambin coming on,” he said.
“Perhaps I shouldn’t have played him on Saturday after his epic performance at Millwall.
“Perhaps I should have rested him and not started him in back-to-back matches after that fantastic performance - but that’s my error.
“So I kept him back and had a little whisper in his ear yesterday that he would go on around 60 or 65 minutes -when the game opened up a little bit and when there was a little bit more space.
“We’ve seen what he can do.
“When Luisma Villa came to see me and told me that he wanted to go back to Spain on the first day of pre-season it was a bit of a shock.
“To try and get someone of that technical ability who can change a game…. they’re hard to find.
“So Luke Gambin has to step up to the mark with that now, and he has done.
Finally, Martin discussed the contribution that departing coach Adrian Whitbread has made behind the scenes at The Hive this season, saying:
“Adrian had offers in the summer to go back to America to coach and to manage.
“Last week he told me that he’s been offered a management job.
“It’s a great job that he’s got.
“For me personally it’s a big loss, he’s a great right hand man.
“Behind the scenes he’s been washing all the kit - he washes all the bibs once a week and makes sure that all the balls are cleaned, because we haven’t got a kit man at the moment.
“He buys all the bananas and the wine gums for the dressing room - he goes down to the supermarket and buys it all.
“He just makes sure that everything is done behind the scenes, things that people probably wouldn’t expect.
“He’s a good coach and he’s got the respect of all the players.
“But such is the opportunity that he’s got, who I am I to say that you can’t go off and do something to better your life?
“It’s a great opportunity for him.”