Barnet’s latest pre-season friendly – a last-minute, behind-closed-doors affair similar to that against QPR – ended in a heavy 8-0 defeat to Championship side Watford today.
As with the 1-0 win over The R’s, this game was organised by the Management Teams of both clubs in order to boost the match fitness of their respective squads, whilst looking at the performances of some trialists. The Watford players clearly wanted to prove a point to new gaffer, Gianfranco Zola, as they found the net seven times in the First Half. The 45 minutes after the interval seemed to offer a slightly better return on The Bees behalf, by only letting one shot enter the uprights.
After the match, Head Coach Mark Robson was realistic in defeat stating, "We didn’t look as sharp as we have been throughout pre-season and we can learn some valuable lessons from this game. We need to look at how we press the opposition as a team, rather than individually, something that Watford did very well today."
He did, however, look at the positives from the game, "The Second Half looked a lot better and we defended well as a team. Some changes were made by both teams and we made sure that we made it harder for them. It certainly gives us lots to think about for the immediate future".
As most can appreciate, although the scoreline would have been a big confidence-booster (or crusher, depending on which team you support!), these fixtures are all about building up match fitness for the start of the new campaign – a theme that will continue during Saturday’s next pre-season run-out against Borehamwood FC.