Barnet manager Martin Allen is excited to be involved in Saturday’s clash with Oxford United, but believes that the Bees will be clear underdogs when they travel to the Kassam Stadium.
Speaking after training on Friday, Martin said:
“I watched Oxford play a couple of weeks ago against Swindon.
“They dominated the game from start to finish; it was the best atmosphere that I’ve seen at Oxford for many a year.
“The crowd really got behind their team – it’s a very exciting team and they’ve got some fantastic players.
“I was chatting with the Plymouth manager on Wednesday night down at Exeter.
“They are a good team, and we’ll have to be at our absolute best to go up against them and give them a game.
“I’m making some changes to the team that played at Hartlepool.
“It was a good point to get up there, but I still feel that we’ve got to do better.
“We can do better and we will do better – there’s still room for improvement.
“We’ve got to keep striving, keep pushing ourselves and keep learning.
“I expect a good following up at Oxford tomorrow; we need every bit of support that we can get because their crowd and their players are on fire at the moment, there’s no doubt about that.
“For me personally it’s a local derby, it’s close to where I live.
“It’s an exciting game to be involved in, and I can’t wait until 3pm on Saturday when the match kicks off.
“This morning we signed Nicky Bailey which I’m pleased about.
“He’s not fit to play, but we’ll have him in the squad.
“I think we all know what he can do.
“We’ve got a couple of young lads coming with us as well – we keep trying to push them and bring them along.
“But Nicky brings us something that we don’t have in our squad at the moment.
“He’s a feisty character and a feisty person.
“I think he’s a good addition – the chairman has really pushed the boat out to get him.
“You might be disappointed to hear that some of the lads might be leaving.
“We have the bills to pay and we’ve got budgets that we have to work to.
“Something has to give if we’ve got new players coming in.
“Some players will have to go, and it’ll be loans just to balance the finances.
“Some of them aren’t easy decisions, but I’ve got to do what I have to do.
“Oxford United haven’t lost a home game yet, and we haven’t won away from home.
“So they’re really going to look forward to playing against us aren’t they!
“It’ll be an exciting day, it’s exciting times, and there’s no doubt that we’re the major underdogs for this game.
“I look forward to seeing all our supporters there tomorrow.
“Thank you to all the supporters that made the trip up to Hartlepool – you put in a great performance behind the goal, spurred the team on, and it was a bit of a relief for everybody to win that first point away from home.
“Now let’s try and take it on to Oxford.”