Barnet’s manager looks back on our draw with the U’s…
Martin Allen has revealed that he is disappointed not to have taken home all three points from this afternoon’s trip to Cambridge.
Reflecting on the match, Martin said:
“I’m very disappointed – apart from the first 15 minutes of the game it was just us attacking all the time.
“We couldn’t work a way through and they scored on the counter attack.
“I think that Cambridge only had one shot before that, so I’m disappointed to only draw.
“We had so much of the game – most of it was played near their goal.
“We were unlucky when we started the season last year.
“We kept saying to everyone ‘unlucky, well played, we played well today but didn’t get anything.’
“But we’ve all got to improve; me, the team and the staff have all got to get better.
“I don’t want to be ‘Johnny Average’ in the middle of the table, I want to make something happen.
“I’ve just won two championships at Gillingham and Barnet in the last few years and I don’t want to be losing goals on the counter attack like the one today.
“I’m a better coach and a better manager than that.
“We’ve got to get those messages over to the players, because we’ve got to be better.”
The Bees manager was full of praise for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Alex Nicholls, who were both involved in Barnet’s equaliser:
“They are both very good players,” he said.
“They offer something extra to have in our armoury, compared with what we had last year.
“We’ve got a very strong bench now and we’ve got a very strong team.
“Andy Yiadom got eight goals last year and Nicholls got nine for Exeter from less games.
“So he’s got good ratios and he’s a finisher.
“Akpa Akpro is also very unlucky not to be in the team because he has been absolutely superb in pre-season training.
“Both those players are pushing for places, because at this level they can both score goals.
“Michael Gash can score goals too – he got 12 goals and had a ratio of one in three last year.
“Then there is Akinde who’s been getting one in two.
“So we’ve got goals throughout the team, which is something that we were sometimes struggling for last year – apart from Big John.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s match against Millwall, Martin said:
“There’s no let up, it has been relentless.
“These players have been trained like Royal Marines – they’re as fit as butchers’ dogs!
“You could see for the last 20 minutes today that the players kept going and going.
“They’re relentless and they’ve had an extremely tough pre-season, in preparation for these seven games in August.
“You could also see the strength of the squad on the bench today.
“Tom Champion was superb against Eastleigh and Bondz N’Gala has been excellent for us.
“We weren’t able to bring them all today, but back at The Hive we’ve got other boys who have been great in pre-season.
“They’re desperate to prove that they can play for Barnet – players like Shaun Batt and Ben Tomlinson.
“Mauro Vilhete has been really good in pre-season and then there are all these under 21s.
“They’re pushing on and they’re close; one of them was playing here today and more of them are going to get a chance.
“So when Millwall come along on Tuesday, we’ve got to go all out and believe that we can beat these teams.”