Jake Hyde says he could have stayed with Barnet before turning down the offer of a new contract to join York City – but believes Martin Allen can guide the Bees back to the Football League next season.
The 23-year-old forward was out of contract at the end of last season and was offered a new deal at The Hive before opting to join beaten League Two play-off semi-finalists York City instead.
“There actually was a phase where I sat down with Martin Allen and the things he said really hit home to me. He made some fantastic, fantastic points,” admitted Hyde.
“I honestly think Barnet will have a very good season this year, so when I sat down for contract talks, it really did cross my mind [to stay]. I do honestly believe in my heart of hearts, Barnet have got a fantastic opportunity to get promoted this season.
“It really was hard to turn down in the end,” insisted Hyde.
The England C international concedes the Bees underachieved last season, finishing eighth in the Conference after a strong start. But is backing Allen to take Barnet up next time around.
“I do honestly believe he’s brought stability and organisation back to the football club and I think that was the one key factor in what we were missing last season: organisation and discipline on and off the pitch,” stated Hyde.
“I think it was obvious as soon as Martin came in he wanted the authority back and he made us a stronger side.”
The former Swindon Town forward continued: “We lacked a few experienced players but I think he’s made some good signings.
“The signings he’s brought in have played at that level, they know what it takes and the fact they’ve got loads of games under their belts, I think he’s made some signings which will be very beneficial this year.
“There’s obviously a reason we didn’t get promoted, which I think fell under naivety and know-how; having the know-how to see out those crucial games when you’re 1-0 up.”
Edgar Davids’ tenure as player-head coach elicited controversy at times but Hyde was quick to praise the Dutchman’s virtues, whilst recognising the former Barcelona midfielder’s faults.
“I think Edgar had his way of playing and nothing was going to change that,” said Hyde. “There was nothing that was ever going to change his way of playing. He believed in his philosophy and no-one was going to say any different.
“Martin came in and he’s not afraid to change things if it’s not working. He will watch on the sidelines and turn things around but the biggest thing I think we missed under Edgar was organisation, stability and discipline. Those are the three things Martin is very keen to change at the club and will change at the club,” said the Maidenhead-born hitman.
“You can have all the flair you want at the club but if you don’t have those three things, it’s hard to be a good, solid side.
“And this is on and off the pitch. From set-pieces every week to off the pitch, which is things like on the training ground and how you manage yourself away from the club.”
With an eye on his next challenge, Hyde, who signed a three-year deal with York, says his new club’s strong finish and subsequent play-off defeat by Fleetwood is indicative of a club with ambition.
The striker said: “The fact I’ve seen them progress so far, so quickly and when I sat down to talk to them, the ambition of their club is very promising.
“They had a fantastic season last season and what they want to do is first and foremost, get to League One and then push on from there.
“The manager is obviously a big part of that; he’s a manager with loads of experience, so as a young lad I still want to learn. They’re becoming a very good side and they’re all pulling the right direction. So that was really my decision made to come to York,” Hyde added.