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Martin Allen: “It was a mountain to climb”

25 November 2015

The Bees manager assesses his team’s showing at Meadow Lane.

Barnet manager Martin Allen expressed his disappointment at Tuesday night’s performance, following the 4-2 defeat to Notts County.

Reflecting on the match, Martin said:

“It wasn’t a good result - it was a mountain to climb after being 2-0 down after eight minutes.

“It was a very disappointing start.

“I freshened up the team to bring some fresh legs in.

“This is a big pitch and they’ve got some very good attacking players, so we had to try and cover that.

“But as you could rightly point out, those changes didn’t work and we were two nil down after eight minutes - after that it’s a difficult game.

“There were lots of areas where we were short tonight.

“Notts County played very well, but I think we allowed them to play well - we didn’t really compete with them.

“In the second half I thought the players showed some good character.

“We had a good chance through Luke Gambin; if it had gone to 2-1 then it could all have been different.

“I thought that the subs we put on helped and improved the team.

“But it’s my responsibility - I made the changes.

“Some of them played well, and some of them didn’t do so well.

“I thought the second half was a positive reaction, but when you’re 2-0 down the horse has already bolted.

“You’ve got to stay in these games; even if you’re 1-0 down with ten or fifteen minutes to go you’ve always got a chance to get back into it.

“But on the counter attack I thought that Notts County always looked dangerous, and we got exactly what we deserved to be honest.”

Explaining the changes that he made to the team, Martin went on to say:

“I think we’ve seen before that Michael Nelson has struggled with three games in a week.

“After watching DVDs of the opposition, I knew how quick they were up front with McLeod and Stead.

“I knew they were dangerous players, I fully expected them to play with two up front, and I think that bringing in Gavin Hoyte was the right decision with his pace against those two.

“I felt that John Akinde needs a rest at the moment. 

“He’s done exceptionally well for our football club.

“I think he found it a little bit difficult on Saturday, so I wanted to freshen him up and get him ready for the Mansfield game. 

“I would have put John on at half-time, but he said he had a tight hamstring and he didn’t want to risk it - of course that has to be respected.

“Shaun Batt has possibly been the most outstanding player in training over the past few weeks.

“He’s got tremendous pace and energy.

“I thought he did alright tonight - he had a good run around and was a threat when he got in behind. 

“Playing Curtis Weston in the number ten position worked extremely well against Oxford a couple of weeks ago, so that’s why we played him there.

“I don’t think anyone can knock that one.

“The two loan players - Jack Stacey and Josh Clarke - they’re both good players but it wasn’t to be for those two tonight.”

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