Barnet Football Club



Nurse: “We’ve got the quality to improve”

Jon Nurse said that it was good to get back out on the pitch on Tuesday as he made his first start of the season, but admitted that is had been a frustrating night overall for the Bees as they went down 1-0 at home to Wrexham.

Speaking after the game, the player-coach said:

“The way we started the game you would have thought we would have picked up the three points today but it has been a very frustrating night for us all I think.

“That’s football really. We were that dominant for 15 or 20 minutes that they could not get out and they could only get better – they could not get any worse. We just needed to score.

“Unfortunately we just didn’t get that breakthrough. When you’re that dominant and you’ve got that much pressure, you need a goal to keep you going.

“You’ve got to take your chances when they come along and we did not take our chances. We were dominant at the beginning and if you give teams a little opportunity, sometimes you get a little sucker-punch.”

Nurse also echoed the thoughts of his manager, suggesting that Barnet were still getting to grips with the added pressure that comes with being league leaders: 

“I think it is a position which, at Barnet, we have not really been in. We are sitting top of the table now and we are there to be shot at. Teams are now happy to come to The Hive and get a point.

“To go top and play as well as we have done, and especially with the result on the TV the other day – which everyone is probably watching – teams are now happy to come here and park the bus and come away with a point and play on the counter attack, which they did tonight. It

“It is up to us as players and as coaching staff to help the players find ways to break down teams that are going to come and sit here and try and frustrate us.

“We have got to be patient and keep playing our football and it will come. It is a learning curve for everyone. It is a new position for a lot of the boys at our club but it is a good position.

“We have got a lot of young players here at the football club and a lot of players still learning their trade. We have got the quality in the team and in the squad – as you can see – to improve and we will.”

Having only made two second-half appearances from the bench so far this season, the 33-year-old said that it felt good to make his first start on Tuesday, although he admitted that it did feel a little strange to be juggling his duties as both a player and a coach:

“It is nice for me just to be back on the pitch. I’ve got loads of energy because I haven’t played this season, so I should have loads of energy.

“It is always nice to get minutes on the football pitch. It’s a new role for me, so it has been a learning curve for me this season. The gaffer has been brilliant with me and I am enjoying it.

“The playing part is the easy part; I have been doing it for pretty much my whole life. It is the not having to worry about coaching. I am still thinking: ‘Is everything all right? Is everything done?’ The playing part is the easy part; it comes naturally.”

However, Nurse did admit that he is thriving in his new role and is now focusing on the challenge of lifting the team as they prepare for the visit of Altrincham to The Hive on Saturday:

“I have got nothing but good words to say about the gaffer; I have enjoyed my time so far underneath him. I keep learning every day and he’s a great person to learn from, so I’m really enjoying it.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I think this is a fantastic football club. It has got everything to go on and do well and to be part of it would be absolutely magnificent. It was a little bit of a surprise when I was offered the role but as I say, football is a funny game and you never know what is around the corner.”

“We will go to the training field and work on Thursday and we will get it right for Saturday.”