Martin Allen says it is a "completely different" Barnet side which will face Nuneaton Town on Saturday to the one which played The Boro in March

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport by

Barnet’s head coach says it is a “completely different” Bees side which will face Nuneaton Town on Saturday to the one which won 1-0 at Liberty Way in April.

Martin Allen used last season’s trip to Nuneaton to blood a number of youngsters and hand chances to those who had been on the periphery after declaring the Conference play-offs were out of Barnet’s reach.

A much-changed Barnet won thanks to Valentin Gjokaj’s second-half stunner and since then, seven of the 14 players used against The Boro have left The Hive.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Allen said: “It’s a completely different team; new faces, new characters, new personalities. It’s different now to what it was at the end of last season.

“It’s a good place to go Nuneaton, the people were really nice up there, they’ve got some good players and as we all know in professional football – and in all sport really – there’s never an easy match. Whether you’re playing tennis or whatever, you’ve got to make sure everybody’s right on it, right from the first whistle and on Saturday against Lincoln, we clearly weren’t.”

Allen was also able to provide an update on young striker Iffy Allen, who has continued his recovery after suffering a fractured fibula during pre-season training.

“Iffy’s started to join back in now, he’s doing the warm-ups with the first-team, and everybody else is fit,” confirmed Allen.

In Adam Mekki, Barnet have among their ranks a player who was close to signing for Nuneaton this summer.

The former Aldershot winger was on trial with The Boro in pre-season, playing in a handful of pre-season friendlies before joining the Bees on a non-contract basis.

Speaking after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat against Lincoln City, Allen said the winger could feature at Liberty Way as he continues to build his fitness.

“He’s behind the others as well but he was late for the game today so he wasn’t involved. I suppose he might be in contention next week,” mused Allen.

Nuneaton boss Brian Reid has a fully-fit squad to pick from after two defeats and a draw from their opening three fixtures.

The Bees saw their unbeaten start to the season ended by Lincoln, with first-half goals from Jordan Burrow and Hamza Bencherif putting the Imps in control.

Barnet were much-improved after the break and got one back through Keanu Marsh-Brown ten minutes after the restart but could not find a way past Nick Townsend to snatch a point.

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