After watching his Gillingham side ease to a 3-1 victory over Barnet, Martin Allen confirmed he “really wanted” to become the Bees manager last summer.
Allen oversaw Barnet’s final three matches last season and helped the club stay in the Football League with a 2-1 final day win against Burton Albion.
However, he wasn’t offered the job in the summer with current Bees boss Mark Robson taking charge at Underhill.
Allen stated he thought he could get Barnet challenging for a play-off place if he had been appointed manager.
He said: “I really did want the job here, I really did want to manage Barnet. I thought it would be a great opportunity with the geography of being so close to London to get loan players.
“Then to bring in some experienced players and put together a team to challenge the play-offs. I had it in my mind I could do it and I wouldn’t have wanted to come here if I didn’t think I could.
“But I got an email telling me I wasn’t getting the job and I was disappointed because I wanted to be here and take it on.
“I thought I owed the club something because I’d walked out on that critical stage (the 2010/2011 season).
“But they wanted to go down a different route and that’s life.”
Allen received a warm reception from the Barnet supporters and he admitted his return to Underhill was “magic”.
“When the opposition fans start singing your name, it is magic. The last time I was here (at Underhill), we beat Wimbledon 3-0 in the penultimate game of last season. This place was full of fans that day and it is something that I will never ever forget.
“That was my first game back here after I’d left to go to Notts County the year before. But it was magical here, the players were fantastic and the supporters were fantastic. I was very proud.
“And then to stay up away at Burton on the last game of the season. There were 15 minutes to go, Hughes scored that volley in the bottom corner and we won 2-1. It was amazing to stay up and I was so happy.”