Barnet joint head coach Ulrich Landvreugd says he is not feeling the pressure of the Bees' play-off push

Pictures: Dave Peters

Pictures: Dave Peters

First published in Sport
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It is three victories from three matches for Barnet since Ulrich Landvreugd and Dick Schreuder were placed in charge of the Bees’ first team.

So it’s little wonder Landvreugd says he isn’t feeling the pressure of reigniting the Bees’ play-off charge.

A 1-0 win over Tamworth on Saturday, courtesy of a Lusima Villa goal, was followed by a 2-1 victory against Grimsby Town.

Mauro Vilhete and Jake Hyde netted against the Mariners on Tuesday night and Barnet are two points off the play-off positions with a game in hand on two of the sides above them.

“We are enjoying it,” Landvreugd said after the midweek victory. “We enjoyed it when Edgar (Davids) was here but there is more pressure on us now.

He added: “But we’re not feeling it too much. I am really enjoying it and that is why I am here. If every result is like this then you enjoy that much more.

“Everyone wants to get into the play-offs, that is our goal that we want to achieve. So we have pressure but we have had that before when we worked in Holland.

“So the pressure is nothing new but the responsibility is now more on our shoulders instead of Edgar’s.”

Less than a month ago it seemed Barnet’s play-off hopes had almost ended. However, the victories and gritty performances under Landvreugd and Schreuder have provided fresh optimism amongst supporters.

Finishing in the top five is now a realistic target but the Bees joint head coach says he will evaluate their promotion bid game by game.

He said: “The play-offs is our goal but it is not an easy job. We have to look at it match by match. We can try and calculate as much as we want but we tried to do that last year and it wasn’t realistic.

“So we will take it each game at a time and we are now focused on Saturday at Wrexham.”

Graham Stack, Luke Gambin and Harry Crawford missed Tuesday’s game due to injury and are likely to be ruled from the trip to Wrexham. Jack Saville was also absent against the Mariners but could return on Saturday.

Stack and Saville took their places in the stands against Grimsby but were still vocal presences throughout the game.

It is that team spirit that Landvreugd is delighted with. He said: “It is a shame you can’t pick everybody because every player is working hard.

“I see the bench helping their colleagues and that is great. It shows we are in a good way.”

Saville’s absence meant new loan signing Valentin Gjokaj was handed his Barnet debut after joining the Bees for a month last Friday.

The Albanian Under-21 international, who was born in Switzerland, began his career with Swiss side FC Luzern before joining the Rams in July 2012.

Gjokaj, who has made six Championship appearances for Derby, slotted seamlessly into the Barnet defence alongside David Stephens and Landvreugd was impressed with the 20-year-old.

He said: “He enjoyed it. He is a shy boy off the pitch but totally changed on it. He was aggressive and coaching the guys who he has only met in the last two days.

“You see the how quickly he picked things up and that shows he has extra qualities.”

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