Martin Allen reflects on Barnet's 4-0 win over Southport at The Hive on Saturday.Martin Allen was a happy man on Saturday evening after seeing his side turn on the style to defeat Southport 4-0 at The Hive and move eight points clear at the top of the Vanarama Conference.
Speaking after the game, which saw Barnet score three late goals to wrap up their first win in three games, the manager reflected on a job well done:
“It was good for the players. Obviously it has been a testing couple of weeks with not getting any points from the two away games we have just played.
“I think it was good for the supporters as well. There is no doubt the majority of supporters will have looked at the last two games with no points and thought, ‘Oh my God’.
“This Southport team have had a good run recently, so it was never going to be an easy game but over the whole game I think it was a deserved victory.
“But to be fair to all our players they have worked very hard in training this week, and I don’t mean physically, but we have tried to help them, support them and guide them.
“I thought there were some fantastic performances individually, a good effort collectively and the atmosphere again there in the second half for all of our supporters – to see us win and get a clean sheet and score a lot of goals with the type of football that we tried to play, it was good.”
Barnet only led 1-0 thanks to a first-half strike by Charlie MacDonald up until the 80th minute, and had goalkeeper Graham Stack to thank for keeping them ahead during a second half in which Southport created some chances of their own:
“I have got to highlight the fantastic saves that Graham Stack made when it was 1-0. He hasn’t trained for three weeks now - he’s just been going from game to game - because he has had a couple of injuries.
“We have got a proper bloke in our team and on our staff. He does a lot more work than people realise and he is a credit to the club.”
The Bees then put the game beyond doubt with a flurry of late goals during the closing stages, the last of which was scored by Sam Muggleton for his first senior strike – a moment that was celebrated with particular pleasure on the touchline by the manager:
“I was thrilled and chuffed to bits for him to get his first goal. Muggleton has been absolutely superb in training, he really has been outstanding. He has earned his place on the bench and he has earned his place in the team.
“He works his socks off and doesn’t get enough credit. He’s only just 19, he’s living in digs down here and doesn’t know anyone, but he never moans and trains longer hours than everyone else.
“There is more to his game than just having a long throw. He’s a whole-hearted, honest, decent lad with a good attitude. With a bit of extra work he is going to be a real asset to the club in the future and I’m delighted that we have got him.”
Having seen his side return to winning ways, Martin is now fully focused on preparing for this weekend’s trip to Halifax as Barnet look to strengthen their position at the top of the table ahead of the chasing pack:
“I don’t think there is a Barnet supporter that could say that any of this group that we have got here are weak-minded or not up for the challenge. There is going to be some setbacks and we will have to deal with them.
“After what have been two pretty average performances away from home, we know that we will have to be right on our guard for this challenge next week away at Halifax."