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Theo Archibald 'slightly surprised' by 5-4 victory

B Team winger talks about narrow win over Barnet on Monday

8 March 2018

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Theo Archibald was in a good mood following a 5-4 win over Barnet on his birthday earlier this week. The B Team winger spoke to iFollow after the game to discuss the match, his season targets and the upcoming trip to Scotland.

"I was probably slightly surprised at the scoreline to be honest," said Theo, after the final whistle at Jersey Road. "I thought at 5-2, those first 25 minutes of the second half, we were on it completely. It was five, going on eight or nine to be honest, it could have been a real drubbing.

"Fair play to them, they hung in and changed up the style of play a little bit. They brought on a bigger guy up top, ended up bringing it back to 5-4 and it was actually quite a cagey last 10 or 15 minutes. Ultimately, I think we're probably glad to come away with a 5-4 victory in the end, but it could've been a lot more."

The 20-year-old also described the benefits of playing a side as physical as Barnet were during the match in West London.

"I think if you look at the variety of teams that we play, whether it be a foreign team, who will play a completely different style of football, a top English side from the Premier League, or someone at the lower end of League Two, all of these help you become a more complete footballer.

"Regardless of where your career ends up, there's going to be different teams in the division that you are playing in and they will play different styles of football. Games like this can often be a lot more competitive, especially when a lot of these guys are battling in League Two week in week out. They obviously wanted to get confidence from this game so they wouldn't want to lose. Playing against teams like this can only benefit us, I think."

Theo scored his twelfth goal of the season in the 5-4 win, a target that he doesn't see as hugely important in the long term.

"I just try and look at it game by game," said Theo. "I try and score or at least help the team in every way I can. If I can score then great that's an added bonus for me, but if I can effect the game in a positive way in each game I play in then hopefully the numbers will add up themselves.

"You get to little landmarks, maybe you get to 10 and hopefully 20 by the end of the season and then you can look back and say that was good. I just try and look at it game by game, rather than setting myself big targets, because that can take away the focus of what I need to do in the game itself."

Kevin O'Connor's side head to Scotland next week for a game with Rangers, a journey that Theo is looking forward to.

"It's going to be a little trip home for me," he said. "We're playing against Rangers, obviously I've come from Celtic so there's a little piece of added determination there because I want to win.

"Also, they turned us over down here so it would be quite good to go to their patch and turn them over, and show them what we can really do. I think everyone is looking forward to getting away, it should be a good few days away.

"Rangers played a good team against us last time, it will be a competitive game. I know what they are like, they aren't going to want to lose. Obviously they follow the same sort of programme as us, so there's maybe a bit of added rivalry in that sense."

The squad are heading into the end of the season, which sees them face both Manchester United and Manchester City. They also return to Griffin Park, where Theo made his debut for O'Connor almost a year ago.

"My first game for the B Team was at the end of last season against Manchester City. There was a good turnout, a good crowd, and it gives you that First Team feel.

"Playing under the floodlights, like we did last time, with a good crowd of around 1500 gets you in the zone to know what it's like to go out on a Saturday or on a Tuesday evening. It's against top quality opposition and it's a nice way to end the season.

"It could almost be like a little cup final for us, hopefully we put in a good performance and get a result there as well."

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