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Mark Hughes believes Barnet have to 'get back to basics' following 4-0 defeat against Bradford City
It’s hard to imagine what else could’ve gone wrong for Barnet in their 4-0 defeat against fellow League Two strugglers Bradford City.
Darren Dennehy was sent off after just 16 minutes and gave away a penalty in the process.
Four goals were conceded during another disappointing Underhill performance.
And, in the closing stages, Izale McLeod and Michael Hector nearly came to blows only to be pulled apart by their team-mates.
Questions needed to be answered and an explanation of the performance given. Unfortunately Bees boss Lawrie Sanchez refused to speak to the media for the second match running.
However, Barnet captain Mark Hughes did discuss the defeat. He was clearly dejected and disappointed but the skipper spoke honestly about the performance.
"I’m really disappointed and obviously the lads are gutted in the changing room," he said.
"If everyone hasn’t realised - we are in a massive dogfight until the end of the season. Our gap has gone and we just have to concentrate, be professional and finish at the top of the five or six teams that are down there."
The penalty and red card was certainly the game changing moment. Once Craig Fagan had got behind the Barnet defence and was brought down by Dennehy the dismissal was inevitable.
But despite being a man down the midfield trio of Sam Deering, Mark Byrne and Hughes moved the ball quickly and a succession of corners were proof that the Bees could threaten in the contest.
However, the second goal, scored by Will Atkinson, was described by Hughes as sloppy.
Second half strikes from Kyle Reid and Nahki Wells rounded of the Bantams victory.
Hughes said that Barnet could not have any complaints about the red card but admits it changed the game.
He added: "It doesn’t mean much now but the reaction (after the sending off) was good, we got ourselves back into the match but the second goal was, if you like, against the run of play.
"Once they got the third at the start of the second half the game was over because we were down to ten men and the fourth was a sloppy one to concede.
"It is an eye-opener for everyone who hasn’t realised, because there are a lot of young players in there, that is it a dog fight and there are no easy games."
He continued: "We have gone on two runs of four games undefeated this season so it is capable with the group of players.
"But at the minute we don’t look like the same players. It is not going to be a quick-fix it is going to be a gradual thing. Firstly we have to stop conceding goals and we have a good chance to put it right at home on Saturday against Rotherham."
After the 4-1 loss at Aldershot at the weekend, followed the Bradford defeat, Hughes admits morale in the Barnet camp is low.
But he said the only way to get that back is to start collecting points. He added: "The only way to get morale back is by winning games and we have to get back to basics and being as professional as we can as individuals and hopefully the team can start putting up results that I’m sure it can do."