Martin Allen said that he is looking forward to the prospect of an FA Cup replay against Chelmsford City, as his Barnet side prepare to take on the Clarets for the second time in four days tomorrow night at The Hive.
Speaking before training this morning, the Bees’ manager admitted that having had the weekend to mull over Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate at Melbourne Stadium, he was excited to now have the chance to win the tie on home soil:
“I think on reflection there is a little bit of relief. All football fans have watched the FA Cup through the years and seen these upsets. It only takes a split second, a quick opportunity, and Saturday had that potential.
“A team top of the Conference and eight points clear going up against a team that have had a bit of form over the last month and have got some good players. There was always that possibility at the back of your mind, but our players saw it through to the end.
“We had some good chances during the second half to have actually won the game but now tomorrow night we have got to impose ourselves on the game. We will have to be on the top of our game to win this one.”
Martin also gave the latest update on the fitness of his squad, and insisted that he would once again be naming a strong side as he targets a place in the first round proper:
“Charlie MacDonald is not yet fit enough but he is going to train with the Youth Team on Tuesday morning and then we will review Charlie at the end of the week.
“Keanu Marsh-Brown has had a problem with his other thigh so we will see how that is as the week progresses too, and Muggleton’s bruised shinbone has taken a long time so we are looking at all of the different ways that we can get Muggs back into the frame as well.
“I think you could see how important it was to me personally by the team that I picked. John Akinde had been struggling for a few days so he just got there at the last minute after good work with our physio Jayde.
“I didn’t really want to use Cooky on Saturday but we needed something a little bit different in the second half and thankfully he came on and did that for us.
“I’m not going to play weakened teams; I am going to play my best in everything and as you have already seen all of these players are capable of playing in a winning team.”
The draw itself will take place at 19:00 this evening live on BBC2 and on BBC Radio 5 Live, with both Barnet and Chelmsford being assigned ball number 78.
However, Martin says that he will not be paying any attention to which team is selected as Barnet’s potential opponents in the next round as he prepares to ensure that Barnet get there in the first place:
“All of my focus and concentration is only on one thing, and that is getting the team, staff and players ready for Tuesday night.
“It was a busy week last week with the away game at Gateshead and then the game on Tuesday against Braintree and then a mentally testing game away at Chelmsford on Saturday.
“Now it is a different test of all of us to go out and make our mark on this game and give us an opportunity now to keep winning on all fronts. I want to go for everything.
“It is an important game and it is an important competition for us. There is no doubt about it, I want to go as far as we can. It’s no distraction, it’s no problem. It is just another game for all of us to play and it is great to be involved in it.”