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Martin Allen: “It was a good victory for our squad”

28 March 2016

Barnet’s manager discusses the victory over Luton Town.

Martin Allen was full of praise for his squad, following Barnet’s 2-1 win against Luton Town this afternoon. 

The Bees manager lauded his side’s strength in depth, saying:

“I thought that we played very well in the first half.

“As the game went on Luton were bound to come back into it – they’re chasing a play-off place.

“We played a couple of days ago and they haven’t played for nine days, so at some point there was going to be a change in the way that the game was going. 

“But I thought that we weathered that storm really well.

“Of course when they scored we could have panicked, but we went back on the attack.

“It was a definite penalty and I’m delighted for John that he was able to stick that one away.

“There was never any doubt that he was going to take the penalties for us today.

“It was a good victory for our squad and the players that we’ve got. 

“We made a lot of changes today – bringing in Graham Stack and Michael Gash. 

“Both of them were superb.

“It just shows that we do have a good squad, but there have been so many injuries over the last few months – that’s been costly. 

“We all have to remember what a special role Graham Stack played in our team last season. 

“He was the Conference ‘Goalkeeper of the Year’ and he’s been brilliant for me off the field. 

“He’s coached and trained the goalkeepers and given opinions – he’s certainly not a ‘yes man’.

“He asks questions, pushes his opinions forward, and he doesn’t always agree with me!

“But he was priceless on the field and off the field last season.

“We’ve had to be patient with him, to get him through his injury this year. 

“He’s worked really hard in the gym to get fit. 

“There have been some dark days, but I’m absolutely thrilled for him that he is fit again. 

“I’m sure our supporters would agree that it’s important that I’m loyal to these people, who have done such a great job for our club. 

“So players like Stack and Gash deserve this opportunity to play. 

“I don’t know what Barnet’s record against Luton is, but what I do know is that this was a local derby.

“They’ve been on a very good run of form and have been playing very well.

“This is our third game in eight days, and it takes its toll. 

“It’s hard to cope with it after nine months of the season, so that’s why we freshened things up.

“Luton had fantastic support in the ground today, and they backed their team right the way through the game. 

“But I’m sure that every one of them would say that we were the dominant team. 

“We had two 18-year-olds make their full debuts against Exeter a couple of days ago. 

“We’re going to give more young lads their debuts, because we’ve got a lot of good players behind the scenes. 

“But I’ve also got a lot of senior players who deserve to play and get out there.

“I’m not dropping anyone from the team at the moment, I’m just giving other players a game. 

“The players have got to understand and accept that; they’re not all guaranteed a place, and they’re all going to play games from now until the end of the season. 

“We won’t be preparing any differently for the game against Morecambe – all the plans for next week were made a couple of weeks ago, because we plan well ahead. 

“All the staff and players will now be off for two days; they all deserve to have a rest and to chill out. 

“Then we’ll all come back on Thursday morning to see who is fit, who’s not fit, and we’ll work out who deserves another game.

“They all work hard and train hard.

“We’ll put our team together on Thursday morning, and travel up to Morecambe on Friday.” 

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