Barnet defender David Stephens feels the Bees will remain in League Two if they keep up their good form

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport by

Over the course of this season Barnet have brought more than 20 players to the club either on loan or on permanent contracts.

Many have been shrewd pieces of business while other players have failed to make a desired impact and have since moved on.

One transfer that’s certainly paid off is David Stephens’ move to the Bees from Scottish side Hibernian.

He joined on August 31, made his debut against Gillingham on September 7 and has not missed a Bees match since.

“At Hibs I was more in and out of the team but since I joined here I have become a first team regular,” the 21-year-old said.

“So I’m really enjoying it and I’m feeling fit and healthy. Results have picked up now so it is going well.”

Since joining the club, Stephens has impressed with several commanding performances.

Dominant in the air and comfortable with the ball at his feet, it came as little surprise when he was linked with Championship clubs earlier in the season.

It was something he admits he was aware of, but the centre-back insisted he is not pushing for a move away from the club.

“The speculation didn’t affect me because I was only told about it, I didn’t see it. So it might affect some people but didn’t affect me.”

He added: “At the moment I am really happy to be here. Confidence is high, I am back at home and am really enjoying playing.

“So they are the only things that are on my mind at the moment.”

Barnet’s League Two form has dramatically improved over the past month and the Bees have kept clean sheets in their last two games.

Stephens has formed a strong partnership with Stevenage loanee Andy Iro but has also been partnered in defence by Krystian Pearce and Clovis Kamdjo during his time at the club.

He believes he is “working well” with Iro but stressed the Bees’ recent shut outs are down to the hard work of the side.

Stephens explained: “In training you notice strengths and weaknesses of the other players so then you can help each other out.

“I am enjoying playing with Andy Iro. We communicate a lot with each other during the game and it is clearly working well at the moment.

“The clean sheets are good for us but the work is done by the whole team. When the guys up front pressure and close down it makes our job a lot easier.

“So the clean sheets are a credit to the work of the whole team, not just the defence.”

He continued: “The mentality [of the team] has changed I feel. We were playing well in games but because we hadn’t won maybe we didn’t believe that it would come.

“But it’s changed now. We are going into games on the front foot and with good game plans. We’re really reading up on the opposition so there is a lot of preparation.”

While the Bees results have improved, they remain in a battle to avoid relegation from League Two.

Edgar Davids’ side are 20th in the table but are one of the form teams in the division, with just one defeat in their last six matches.

Stephens feels that if the Bees can continue their current form, they will be safe at the end of the campaign.

He said: “We are confident going into every game. Results are picking up and we have got some good away wins. If we can keep our home form strong then I am sure we will be alright by the end of the season.”

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