Defender Elliott Johnson says Barnet must replicate their performance against EFL League One side MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy when they return to league action this weekend.
Martin Allen’s side drew 2-2 at MK Dons on Tuesday night before losing a penalty shoot-out 5-3 in their first match of the revamped competition.
Strikes from Alex Nicholls and Curtis Weston were just reward for the Bees’ fine second-half display at Stadium MK and Johnson insists it is now crucial to transfer that performance level to EFL League Two.
“It’s a massive boost,” Johnson said of his teammates’ display. “You can see from their team how strong MK Dons are — it’s the same team they had in the Championship and they haven’t lost any of their key players. To match a team like that is massive for us.
“We have to take that performance into our league games and keep those performance levels up and, if we do, we will do well.”
The Bees left-back continued: “We’re pleased with the performance. It was a tricky first 20 minutes because they had a foothold in the game and created a few chances.
“Once we got through that bit of pressure we dominated — especially in the second half.
“We were winning the ball back quicker and we then went 2-1 up. It was disappointing that they scored the late equaliser and took it to penalties.”
And there was praise, too, for the impact of half-time substitutes Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Justin Amaluzor who helped turn the game in Barnet’s favour.
“I think those two changed the game — Akpa Akpro winning his headers and Justin with his energy in behind,” said Johnson.
“Justin has shown what he can do in training and ever since he came back for pre-season he has been quality. Now the gaffer has given him a chance and he has taken it with both hands.”