He covered a variety of different topics and here is what he had to say:
On his excitement ahead of the new season and how the squad is shaping up :
“We are all really excited, I feel everyone has got over the euphoria of the Premier League being back, now it’s the National League’s turn. I am really looking forward to our new beginning now.
“The mood in the camp has been really positive, everyone was obviously disappointed with the performance against Dartford. But moving forward into this week, we’ve been bright, we’ve been really sharp. We have put in the hard work, we are ready to go and we’re looking forward to it.”
On this weeks recruitment:
“We always knew that it was going to be about patience and that we invested wisely in our squad. We have done exactly that, Dwight has come back, when he left he was a baby in many ways in terms of his age, he’s still only 19 now! He’s gone away and played some senior men’s football at Potters Bar, but he wanted an opportunity to come back and prove himself and he has done exactly that. He has shown a great attitude and he is a key member of our group.
“Regarding Matt Preston, we had a tip-off early on and chased it for a couple of days. To be fair to Matt, he came down within two days with his agent and signed straight away. He definitely likes what he saw and for the couple of days he has been with us, he has fit in really well. He has a huge amount of experience at a great age of 25, his experience from the Football League is only a positive for us.
On recruitment as a whole:
“We are almost there, we are still two or three short in numbers and the quality we want to bring to the group. Me and Steve have worked really hard and have spent lots of time on the phone, in fact we have been surprised by how difficult it has been to attract players to a full-time Club. Especially with the pandemic, there is an awful lot of players who will be finding themselves without Clubs this year so the fact we have had a few wait to see their options develop, with our season being the last to kick off.
It’s going to be a process now, for hopefully waiting for one or two more to drop our way. It has been hard but we are very excited about the squad we have brought in, we still feel we have a little bit of work to do but we’re ready. Tomorrow we will have a fit, high energy group of young players that not only want to do well for the team but for themselves individually. They need to kick on with their progress.
On James Dunne:
“I think James has been a key figure in the group with all the newcomers as well. He has been around the block, he is one of our most experienced players, he was captain last year and there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue. None of the new boys needs to worry about that extra responsibility, they need to worry about bonding with the group and focusing on their individual performances.”
On Eastleigh and the unpredictability of assessing teams:
“The one great thing about football is that you can’t predict anything, who would have thought Leciester would have gone to City and won 5. We need to focus on our own game, we are aware of the threat that Eastleigh pose. They are good from set pieces and they have two or three very tricky players in good areas of the pitch.
“It all comes down to the day, who is willing to outwork the other, who’s prepared to show the effort and who wants it more. Add those three together, with the unpredictability of the National League, we have a great chance in all the games we play this year. There has been so much time off not just for our players but other players at other football clubs, without compeititve matches. Friendlies are far from the same when you look at some of the results that have happened across pre-season.
“It is unpredictable, but we are as prepared as we can be, yes I think we will get better the more games we have under our belt. But we are really excited to get this first one out of the way, hopefully performing well and the results will speak for themselves.”
On the extremely busy month ahead:
“It’s going to a really busy month right up until the back end of this month where we will be able to draw breath! We will know where we are then as well, in terms of fitness and any potential injury problems, hopefully we don’t. The players need to make sure they recover well and we need to make sure we don’t overload in our training, so they can be as fresh as they can be for these games.
“I think that the players would rather go through Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, rather than train five days a week. They love to be out there playing, we have to manage it sensibly but we also need to keep topping up the work we have done through pre-season so we don’t waste thhe progress we have made in the four weeks.”
On walking out as Barnet manager:
“I’m proud to be here as manager of the Football Club, it is a club that has great stature. Yes it has played a part in my past, when I was here as a player. It’s hard for the fans not to be here to see our new start and new beginning and to be part of that as we move forward.
“It would have been great to have them here for the big opening day, all the butterflies and excitement that comes with an opening day of the season game. It is a little bit disappointing but we have to make that atmosphere in the changing rooms amongst ourselves, we have to make sure it feels like there’s a crowd here.
“I know that every single Barnet fan will be wishing us well and will hopefully be watching us on the streaming that we’re doing. I hope they enjoy what they see and that it wets their appetitie to come down here when the ground is back open for supporters, so they can come and get behind what will be an interesting and exciting season for us.”