Jake Hyde is hoping to return to action on Friday night against Bristol Rovers in what he has described as a ‘massive’ game for the club.
Speaking exclusively to barnetfc.com for this week’s Big Interview, Hyde assessed the Bees’ season so far and what he hopes the conclusion will bring.
The 22-year-old also talked Scottish football, his return to the club, scoring goals and the signing of fellow centre-forward Harry Crawford.
It has been somewhat of a rollercoaster season, how would you sum it up so far?
JH: “It has been, we had a terrible start but lately we have been playing really well and have had some very good results. We are much more organised as a team and we are beginning to do the right things at the right time. It has been a rollercoaster but at the same time I feel like we are a very strong team at the moment and we do not fear going into any game. We go into every game knowing we can beat the team we face and we are very confident right now which has shown in recent performances and results.”
You mentioned that you do not fear facing any side, which is shown by wins against the likes of Gillingham and Bradford City, so what has been the highlight of your season?
JH: “I think it was probably Boxing Day. It was a fantastic win and meant a lot to the lads because they were obviously top of the league. I scored a good goal as well which was the cherry on top.”
You have scored a lot of goals this season which must be even more satisfying considering you left the club in 2010?
JH: “As a forward it is always nice to be scoring goals, especially important ones that lead to wins and therefore points. The first time I was here I was only a kid and I had a lot to learn but it is brilliant to come back a stronger player. I am very happy to be back scoring goals for the club it all started at.”
You have built up some momentum over the past few weeks but do you think the loss to Burton Albion will have a lasting impact on the players?
JH: “Not at all. The lads were obviously disappointed with the result on Saturday but they came back in on Monday smiling and ready to go. They had a lot of possession and were the better team against Burton for long periods of the game so there are a lot of positives to take. That happens in football, sometimes you can be the best team and lose and other times you can be the worst team and win.”
You missed out with an ankle injury, are you confident you will make a return to action on Friday or is it too soon to tell?
JH: “It will be touch and go right up until kick-off but I will do everything I can to be ready. I was absolutely devastated to miss the game on Saturday because I have been playing well and scoring goals. Fingers crossed for Friday but it will be tight and a decision will be taken me, the physios and the coaching staff nearer the time.”
What is your mentality when another forward joins the club, do you relish the competition, hope to strike up a partnership or work even harder to keep them out of the team?
JH: “There is a little bit of all three but if a new player coming in is going to benefit the side then you have got to be happy. It is all about the team and how well we do together not how we perform as individuals. You have to be on your toes because you never want to lose your place but I am sure Harry will come in and do well. If we build a partnership that would be brilliant but if that does not happen that is the way it goes, I am very excited to see more of Harry and what he can bring to the team.”
Did you have any second thoughts when the opportunity arose for you to rejoin the club at the start of the season?
JH: “It was a very strange situation for me when I left the club and I would rather not go into it but I did not have any second thoughts. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here the first time around and even though a lot of the playing staff have changed it is nice to see the familiar faces of the coaching staff and chairman. My time away helped me and I have come back a better player but I am glad to be back here playing well.”
Was the Hive up and running last time you were here and if so what has changed?
JH: “I had around six or seven months here before but a lot has changed since then because it had only just opened. It is lovely and the facilities are brilliant, it is great to turn up to everyday.”
During your time away you ventured north of the boarder playing for Dunfermline and Dundee, how did that differ from playing football in England?
JH: “It is incredibly different. I am not sure how to describe it but the fans are just brilliant, it really does mean the world to them. A lot of it is also to do with religion so it is very hardcore. I would say it is more physical but it is played at a slower tempo and personally I would say that the English game suits me better. Dundee are a big club and it was a very good experience but I come from here and I feel at home so I am pleased to be back.”
You were also promoted with Dundee United which must have been a great experience?
JH: “It was a very good feeling because even though you want to be promoted a lot during your career you know that may not be the case so it was something to savour. It was a very good year but hopefully we can push on at Barnet Football and achieve a similar feat in the future.”
You mentioned that the playing staff are very different to when you were last here, will players like Graham Stack committing their future to the club give you more of a platform for success?
JH: “Definitely. We need players like Stacky around because as annoying as he can be he is a really top bloke. He does have a presence about himself both in the dressing room and on the pitch and he demands the best of players. He brings a wealth of experience and for me he is the best goalkeeper in the league, not that I would ever tell him that! Jokes aside he is a very good player and it is great that he has committed his future to Barnet Football Club.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season what are your aims individually and as part of the collective?
JH: “As a team we just need to keep pushing on and work as hard as we can because we do not want it to turn into a relegation battle. We want to be out of it before it gets to that stage. We have put ourselves in good stead at the moment and like I said I do not believe we are second to any team. Hopefully we will be mid-table with around a month remaining and then who knows because we are not too far away from the play-offs.”
Finally, Friday is a massive game for the club, how do you see that one going?
JH: “It is a massive game on Friday. Bristol Rovers have been on a fantastic run of form lately and the new manager has really got them going. I think they are one point behind us so we cannot go there and lose but the boys will be focussed and they will be up for the challenge. I personally think that we can go there and win but they are playing well and it will be a tough game. We are more than capable of getting a result and fingers crossed I will be involved.”