Martin Allen was delighted with the character this his players showed on Saturday after coming back from one nil down to defeat Macclesfield 3-1 and go eight points clear at the top of the league.
Speaking after the game, the manager said:
“Taking into account the character, going 1-0 down just before half time, losing in the last minute the other night, having two hard away games in a week and for the third time in a week to bounce back like that, I thought overall it was our best performance of the season.
“It was not easy for our players but it takes a lot of character and guts. They practice it and train to do it.
“Who is that golfer? Gary Player, who said: ‘The harder I practice, the luckier I seem to get’. I have just said to the players that performance in the second half, to win after being a goal down, was probably the best performance of the whole season.”
“It’s all right winning 5-0 away from home on a perfect pitch on the opening game of the season, but coming here today and doing this with a bit of pressure on was all-important.”
After falling behind shortly before the break, the manager was full of praise for the resilience and responsibility shown by his players as they turned the game around and secured a vital three points against a fellow promotion contender:
“The first half today was a real test. To concede just before half time, the players can go two ways. They could turn their backs and think: ‘Oh my God, this is going to be a tricky afternoon’, or they made a decision themselves at half time they would keep playing and keep doing what they been doing and believe in themselves.
“I did not really do anything – the players have to do it. You can’t underestimate the influence Stack, Nurse, MacDonald, Cookie, Curtis, Togwell and Hunty have.
“I have got about seven captains in this team, so sometimes I let them get on with it. There is no point in having all these senior players here, who have hundreds of League games; they have to be self-motivated and they are.
“When you get to the top end of the league – like we are – it is a different ball game every week. We are there to be beaten and everyone is looking to shoot us down. It has been like it nearly all season and thankfully the players are coping well.
“They are fully focussed and know what they are up against. No-one ever talks about anything apart from improving and keep looking to look better. They have got a dream and everyone is working very hard to get to it.”
Finally, the manager finished by paying tribute to Barnet fan Donny Gaz who sadly passed away last week and was remembered with a commemorative programme and a supporter-led minute’s applause during the game:
“Thankfully it was a great result on what was a very emotional day for the crowd and me. It was a special day and I’m sure Gaz would be very proud of his team today.”