Martin Allen reflects on Barnet's 1-0 win at Mansfield Town this afternoon...
Martin Allen described Barnet's 1-0 win at Mansfield Town
in EFL League Two this afternoon as a very polished away performance, praising the defensive solidity of his side.
John Akinde got the game's only goal — his 60th in Barnet colours and 12th in as many league games — early in the second half. But Mansfield's threat was limited and what the Stags did muster the Bees dealt with.
"I thought we played well today," Allen said. "It was a very polished performance away from home. We restricted them to very few chances.
"I think they had one 25-yarder and at the end they went a bit more direct. They were always going to be a threat for the last 15 minutes but the players stuck to their jobs and it was a good performance today."
Allen added: "You could say parking the bus but I call it good defending as a team. They have done exactly what they did at the end of last season and that's what took us to so many points and the highest position Barnet have had since God knows when.
"We have got some good attacking players to come off the bench which are stronger than last year.
"We've got some good young players who came with us again today. We're moving in the right direction but there is a long way to go."
The Bees boss was also full of praise for the performance of Shaun Batt who was handed his first league start of the season.
Batt caused numerous problems with his pace and directness and very nearly put Barnet in front early on when Akinde picked out his run to the back post.
"Shaun is a good player," said Allen. "It was great at the end when all the supporters clapped him off the pitch.
"I think all the supporters know what I think of him. He's a really nice person — if he was your son you would be proud of him.
"He has struggled at times and it is my job to help him get back to where he should be. He is a good player but sometimes a lack of confidence [has affected him]. It's taken him a little bit of time to get to where he is but he was absolutely superb."
Jamal Campbell-Ryce caught the eye during a 20-minute cameo from the substitutes' bench and Allen was pleased with the impact of the summer signing in his second outing for the Bees.
Allen said: "Jamal Campbell-Ryce has been fit now for a couple of weeks and has been getting stronger and fitter.
"He came into the game and I thought he was superb. He really helped us and it's great now to have him."