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Allan Steele: 'These types of games are perfect'

B Team coach on Barnet victory and future development

6 March 2018

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B Team coach Allan Steele spoke to iFollow after the side's 5-4 victory over Barnet U23s on Monday afternoon.

"It was an interesting game," said Allan. "It's the second time we've played Barnet this season. We've got a good relationship with them as a club and are happy with the game overall today.

"I think that we learn an awful lot from these games, playing up against League Two players and that style of football. Barnet changed what they did at half-time and gave us a different problem. They went two up front in the second half and had some success but I think that also allows us an opportunity to play.

"If you are taking a player out of the defensive line and moving them into midfield, then moving someone out of midfield into the front line, you get more space. I think with the goals in the second half you can see we exploited that. 

"Kevin [O'Connor] spoke to the boys at half-time and gave them an idea of what to do and how to do it. I'm really glad they executed that today."

Barnet brought a very physical game plan to Jersey Road, something that Allan agrees is a good test for the B Team squad.

"It's realistic," he said. "You look at the style of their play, they want to try and play football, they understand that the demands of League Two are completely different. If you want to try and play out from the back and teams are pressing you, what's the next option? It's probably to play longer. 

"If you go longer into a more physical centre-forward, then we need to have centre-backs that can deal with that. I think the longer the game goes on, and you see where the goals came from today, the later the game goes when we are tired and aren't as disciplined then holes appear. We'll look at that on Wednesday, work on it in training, and it'll be something we look forward to putting right in the future."

Alan Judge continued his fine form from the penalty spot on Monday, scoring his third penalty for the B Team this season. Allan Steele was happy to see him continue his influence on the younger members of the squad.

"I spoke to Alan after the game," said the B Team coach. "We also had a word at half-time and before the game. The one thing I always want to get out of him, or any First Team player, is to influence the boys. 

"That for me would be the First Team players here having a massive impact on our group. You can see the quality he has on the ball, you can see the effort and his attitude when he steps on to the pitch with us. That doesn't change whether it's a First Team game or a B Team game. He then affects our team in such a positive way that we can learn from that and we aspire to be like he is and how the First Team players are within our group."

The B squad have a few big games coming up to end their season, including a trip to Scotland and games against Manchester City and Manchester United. 

"It's a brilliant way for the boys to look forward to a different type of game and a different type of opponent. I think more and more we've looked at the quality of our games programme and the opponent we're facing, for us, is essential to help develop the players. 

"Today, we can learn from it. Rangers, we will learn from it and we've played them before. Manchester United, we've played them before as well, and we'll learn from it again. For us it's about developing these guys as players and these type of games are perfect for it."

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