Martin Allen was pleased with his side’s performance as Barnet entertained Crystal Palace at The Hive on Saturday with a thrilling 5-3 defeat.
Speaking after the game, the manager said he felt that things were ‘coming together very nicely’ as the Bees went toe-to-toe with Premier League opposition:
“Today I thought they were sharp. They were fully focused, working as a team and working in their units. I have integrated the new players as quickly as we can and they are coming together very nicely.
“It was a very good work-out. We had it planned the first group of players would play 60 to 65 minutes and I thought they acquitted themselves very well against a strong Crystal Palace team.
“Against teams like this you can see the quality they have got and you have to get as many people behind the ball as quickly as you can to stop them getting opportunities or gaps they can strike and score – just like the boy Gayle did.
“I thought the quality and commitment of the performance today was spot on.”
Martin made mass changes on the hour mark by bringing on ten new outfield players, and he was pleased with the contribution of both the senior and younger substitutes as Luke Gambin and Kevin Lisbie found the back of the net:
“The young players deserve it. They have had to work hard for the last week and they are on a plan to get them fitter and stronger and up to first-team level. Of course, it gives them a feel of what it is like to be up against some good players.
“Palace were a little bit weaker in the second half but even so, it was good to see Kevin Lisbie and Gashy out there.
“It is the first time Kevin has turned out for us because we have to be careful with Kevin. He is at a different level at the moment to the other players but it was great to see him score a brilliant goal.”
Finally, Martin expressed his pleasure at the progress shown by his players during their first two friendlies, with a trip to St Albans to come on Tuesday night:
“We played with high intensity in hot weather, so their fitness levels have improved and it gives me a chance now to work on something different for the week ahead. We spent the whole week working on defending because we did not expect to have too much of the ball today.
“To be honest with you, the real result is the players’ fitness, having no injuries and getting all the players to play those games.”