Martin Allen and Ross Eames discuss Barnet’s performances…
Martin Allen was pleased with his team’s first pre-season match of the campaign, as the Bees beat Isthmian League side Cheshunt 5-1 at Theobalds Lane.
Barnet’s manager reflected on the game, saying:
“I thought it was a really good workout.
“It was nice to go locally to Cheshunt – they’ve got a really good set up there, with a lovely pitch.
“We were very well looked after off the pitch too, so first and foremost I’d like to thank them for making everyone at Barnet welcome.
“The performance was very good.
“As everyone can imagine, it’s important for the players to get their fitness levels up at the moment.
“They’ve had a tough week in training, so to have a game at the end of it was a test of the players’ character and personality.
“We retained possession, scored some great goals and could perhaps have had a few more.
“It was a good workout on a beautiful summer’s day, and it was great to be back at the football again.”
Reacting to an impressive display by some of the Bees’ youngsters, Martin said:
“Everyone knows that our young players are good players – they won 3-0 away at Crawley at the end of last season.
“I heard one comment; somebody wasn’t very happy about us not signing more players.
“With the young players that we’ve got coming through here, why do I need to go and sign more?
“Those boys are our players, so we don’t need to sign any more.
“Otherwise we might as well scrap the whole youth system, scrap the under 21s and just play with one first team.
“That’s not going to happen.”
Looking ahead to the coming week, Martin said:
“There’s still lots to work – there is always a lot to work on.
“All that we did last week was physical training, which is obviously linked to mental training too.
“Sam Muggleton had a bit of a tight calf, which was why he didn’t play against Cheshunt.
“James Pearson had a little bit of swelling on his knee.
“He’s all clear now and hopefully he’ll start training on Monday.
“James might be available for the Ipswich game on Wednesday night, but I’m not going to risk him unnecessarily.
“He came back in absolutely top condition, so there’s no rush with Pearson.
“Jean-Louis Akpo Akpro has been training with us.
“Hopefully he is going to sign soon because he’s a good player.
“He’s at a wedding in France at the moment.
“I think so anyway – he’s got to prove it on Monday with a flight ticket, some wedding photos, a place card and two croissants!
“If not, Akpro’s going!”
A younger Bees team containing a mix of first-teamers, trialists and academy players also played on Saturday.
Barnet beat Ware 4-0 at Woodson Park and Development Coach Ross Eames was impressed by the performance:
“It was a good showing after some hard days of training,” he said.
“The game was about getting minutes on the pitch, putting in the right performance and setting good standards.
“We blew the cobwebs off in the first few minutes and after that the boys were superb.
“It was a young group with one 16 year old in there, a 17 year old centre half and two 17 year old full backs.
“We’re looking towards the future and it’s massive for them to play games in senior football.
“The patterns of play that we’ve been working on in training we’re evident against Ware.
“The players mixed things up too, because you can’t always play to feet.
“Seeing the things that we’ve worked on play out on the pitch – that was the highlight for me.
“We can be a little bit more clinical in the final third and a bit less sloppy with our passing in future.
“But these games are all about getting back to basics and into routines again, after having the summer off.”