Manager and striker reflect on productive run-out.Martin Allen was satisfied with the first run-out for his side on Saturday, as Barnet kicked off pre-season with a 6-1 win over Hungerford Town.
Speaking after the game, the manager described the game as a ‘win-win all-round,’ saying:
“That was just what we wanted. The players have trained hard for three days, so it is not always easy on the back of three days of training to come out and be sharp. It gave us a good look at all of our new players and we’ve got no new injuries to it is a win-win all-round.
“I thought Hungerford were really good opposition – they tried to knock the ball about and play well. I thought that it was a really good game for us and hopefully it was a good game for them.”
Barnet fielded a different team in each half – and although it was John Akinde who stole the headlines with a hat-trick the manager says that there were others who caught his eye, including Academy graduate Fumnaya Shomotun and trialist Sam Akinde:
“We had a World Cup 8-a-side tournament on Thursday and Fumnaya was the top scorer in the tournament. He has got amazing technical skills, but whether he will be able to transfer that into men’s football at the level we are playing at only time will tell. He is one that I have got my eye on – he is close and he is pushing.
“John mentioned that his brother hadn’t got a club. He’s clearly a strong centre-forward and a powerful lad so we will be having a chat with him to see how things pan out.”
Martin is now focusing on stepping up preparations for the new season during this week, as his side get ready for a much sterner test against Premier League opposition in Crystal Palace at The Hive on Saturday:
“Obviously it is a little bit rusty, it is all about building up the fitness levels and the sharpness which is what we have been doing in training. Now this week we can do some team play to get ready for the next one against Crystal Palace and I would expect a much sharper performance next Saturday.”
Meanwhile hat-trick hero John Akinde, who netted three goals in the space of six minutes, said it was good to get back underway as both he and his brother found the back of the net:
“It came quite quickly but it was a good run-out for the boys and I think that everyone did well. It looks like everybody has come back fit and strong so it all looked good. I felt good out there so it is good to get scoring early on and get back into the swing of things.
“The gaffer asked me about Sam last season and told him to come in for pre-season and have a look. I thought Sam took the goal well so he has done well. He is a good player and as my brother I know what he has got so he would be a good asset.”
And as preparations for the new season step up a gear, Akinde finished by admitting that he is relishing the challenge of returning to the Football League:
“It is good to get results in pre-season but it is all about the fitness and performance and getting yourself right for that first game.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot, I feel like that is where we should be and we all want to show what we can do. There is not that much of a gap, generally I think it is quite similar so we have got to just go in and work hard and hopefully I can score some goals like I did last season."