New Barnet boss Mark Robson has revealed he expects captain Mark Hughes to leave the Bees but did stress the club are “making strides” in the transfer market.
Three weeks ago, Barnet confirmed top scorer Izale McLeod and six other players were leaving the club and said they were still in talks with Hughes and Sam Deering.
Robson was appointed head coach of Barnet on Sunday and speaking exclusively to the Times Series on Tuesday, he revealed Hughes is set to leave.
He said: “At the moment we won’t be doing anything with him (Hughes) and I expect him to leave. I will be talking to Sam.”
When Barnet announced their retained list three weeks ago, there were only eight of last season’s squad listed, not including those who were still in talks with the club.
Robson said: “There were a number of players who left the club and it is a case of trying to rebuild. There is a job on at the moment but hopefully we are making strides on a couple of players already and hopefully in a few weeks or so we will get a few through the door.”
And that proved to be the case as Barnet announced the confirmation of Sam Cowler's arrival two days later.
The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United player has been brought in because of his strong beliefs in playing attractive football, with Barnet claiming they will have “a comprehensive transformation of the club’s footballing strategy” after three consecutive seasons where they went into the final game with relegation from League Two a threat.
He said: “I will be looking for a mixture of players because as much as you want to play and pass the ball, you have to be able to compete as well. I want to sign players in the right areas and a good blend.
“But of course, I want to bring in players who are technically good on the ball and create a team who are capable of getting us up the league. Looking forward that has to be the aim.”
When asked whether he will have money to spend, Robson added: “At this moment in time I am on the phone 24/7 trying to bring a few players to the club. First and foremost we need to be realistic in terms of where we are and I will be looking for players who are out of contract.”
Robson is currently assessing who he wants to come in as his number two, which will be the only additional appointment initially.
Since retiring from playing at the age of 29 due to injury, Robson has coached at Charlton Athletic, Gillingham and Peterborough United and likes his teams to play a ‘passing game’.
The 43-year-old said: “I certainly want to try to bring some excitement to the way we play. I know that is easier said than done but I have a philosophy on how I like the game to be played and I certainly won’t waiver from that.
“I think that is something I will offer; I want to play attractive and attacking football. Because of the facilities we have at The Hive, we can develop the first team and the older pros as well as the younger players, which is important as well.”