Barnet director of football Paul Fairclough believes Keanu Marsh-Brown “needs to take stock of himself and come back stronger” after the winger was substituted at half-time of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Gateshead.

Marsh-Brown, pictured, was the Bees’ stand-out performer at the start of the campaign and netted seven goals in the opening 12 matches of the season.

However, his form has dipped in recent weeks and the winger has scored just once since October 5.

The 21-year-old signed a long-term contract with Barnet in December and Fairclough said: “I don’t know [why his form has dropped off]. He has got a new contract and he has to acknowledge that he has a good contract with the club.

“I have great faith in him and he is a player who can win you a game. I am sure he will do that so we haven’t seen the last of Keanu Marsh-Brown.

“Every player has a spell where they have a bit of downtime. He needs to take stock of himself and come back stronger, which he is more than capable of.”

Former Bee John Oster produced a man-of-the-match display for Gateshead at The Hive on Saturday and Fairclough was asked after the game if the club had tried to keep the midfielder with the Bees last summer.

He said: “It was simple. John had been going through a stage in his career where he didn’t know where he was going.

“So Barnet was a leg up for him. However, it was a trek for him because he lives up near Gateshead.

“Once he realised he was staying in the Conference, Gateshead were perfect for him because he can be near his family.

“So it is a fantastic move for him and John signing for the club coincides with Gary Mills taking over. There has been a combination there and they’ve risen up the league.”