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Northampton Town v Barnet - Preview
For the fourth year running Barnet will need to win on the final day of the season to ensure they remain a Football League side.
The Bees travel to Northampton Town on Saturday. Their League Two status is again in the balance.
Barnet fans could be forgiven for asking why their team put them through this nail-biting showdown every season.
More than 1,000 Bees supporters will travel to Sixfields hoping to once again celebrate their side’s scramble to safety.
For Bees head coach Edgar Davids this is a new experience. He insisted though the pressure is no different to playing at Euro 2000 or in the Champions League. “At the end of the day you need to win,” he said.
Given Barnet’s start to the season the majority of fans would have gladly accepted a dose of final day agony.
After the first 12 matches of the campaign Barnet had three points and were cut adrift at the bottom of the table. Enter Davids.
The Dutchman’s impact has been significant. The Bees now sit on 51 points; they have kept 15 clean sheets since his arrival and have slowly risen up the table. But it still may not be enough.
Northampton have sealed their place in the League Two play-offs and could rest players on Saturday.
However, Davids is not expecting the Cobblers to “roll over” and let the Bees claim the three points.
He said: “It will be difficult and winning at Northampton will certainly not be an easy task. They are in the play-offs and there is a reason why they are up there.
“One thing is for sure and that is that they are not going to just roll over and let us win the match.
“So it is going to be a battle. They have a very good squad and some great players. They are a very direct side and their two strikers are very good.
“We have played well against the top sides this season but it will not be easy for us. We will have to dig deep, play well and hopefully we can get the result in.”
Barring injuries to Ricky Holmes and Steve Kabba, Davids will have a full squad to choose from on Saturday.
The Bees head coach will have to decide whether Barry Fuller will return at right-back after his four-game suspension ended after the 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday. It was Barnet’s final match at Underhill.
Barnet will begin next season outside of the borough as they relocate to The Hive in Harrow. Ensuring League Two football will be played at the new stadium will be important in order to attract new supporters.
Davids admitted that relegation would be a “setback” for the club but believes that a philosophy has been established that will benefit the Bees in the future – no matter what division they are playing in.
He explained: “We had set some targets set for this season and we have reached those targets. Relegation would be a setback for the club though.
“If we went down then it would take a little bit longer to reach our goals.
“But we will have the structure and the philosophy in place for the future,” the head coach added.
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