Barnet’s bid for a place in the Skrill Premier play-offs is hanging in the balance and joint Bees head coach Ulrich Landvreugd says a lack of goals is proving costing.
Barnet have lost their last four league matches. They were beaten 1-0 at Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday and that was followed up by a 2-0 loss at Macclesfield Town on Tuesday evening.
The Bees have failed to find the net in their last three games and are desperately missing injured top scorer Jake Hyde, who has netted 11 times this season.
“We are missing goals and the form Jake was in before he got injured was very good,” Landvreugd said after Tuesday’s defeat.
“We are in the corner and are receiving the punches at the moment. It’s bad but the guys are working, unfortunately it is not enough.”
Hyde has been injured since February 25 after he limped off with a hamstring injury in the 2-1 win Forest Green Rovers, it was the last time the Bees avoided defeat.
Landvreugd hopes the striker will return to light training this weekend before resuming full training next week.
The Bees’ slump in form has seen them drop from third in the table to ninth. They are just a point outside the play-off positions but the majority of their challengers have a game or several in hand.
“Everybody is very disappointed. I am as well, it’s a bad feeling," Landvreugd said.
“We’re still confident but this defeat makes it harder for us. We only have eight games left this season and we need seven wins to get into the play-offs.”
Barnet were without seven first team players at Macclesfield. Graham Stack served the first of a three game ban after being sent off against Kidderminster while Dani Lopez, Mark Byrne, Luisma Villa, Jack Saville, Roberto Casabella and Hyde were all injured.
Landvreugd admits the number of absent players has been a factor in the Bees’ poor run of form.
He said: “The bigger the squad is the more choices you have and the players are then sharper.
“If you have a smaller group you have to be careful that you don’t get any more injuries. So the injuries are having a big effect on the team and those players that are missing are the players who’ve played 20 games for us this season.”
Stack’s absence was felt in the 2-0 defeat to Macclesfield as two mistakes from Nick Jupp proved costly. The goalkeeper spilled a free-kick into the path of Chris Holroyd who tapped home the opener from close range.
The second error came with three minutes remaining. Jupp’s poor clearance was fired towards goal by Daniel Whitaker from just inside the Barnet half. The Bees goalkeeper attempted to push the shot away but could only palm the ball into his own net.
Landvreugd said: “We had the better of the spells but two mistakes have cost us the game. We had two or three good opportunities in the second half but the ball doesn’t go in.
“It’s not falling for us at the moment. Our free-kick in the first half drops to Mauro (Vilhete) but his rebound goes out for a corner but then their rebound falls right at the guy’s feet and he scores.
"We have to stay calm, analyse the game and see where we can improve. The lack of concentration is why we’ve conceded the goals. Also attacking wise, we’ve had some set-pieces and much more goals must come from them.”