Posted on January 7, 2011


Barnet face a tough away fixture at Bradford City this Saturday. Temporary Manager Paul Fairclough will take charge of only his second game since Mark Stimson left the club.

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He has relinquished all his other duties at the club in order to focus exclusively on first team matters.

He knows that Barnet need to battle to begin climbing away from the bottom of the table. Speaking of the team’s preparations for the game he said:

“We’re meticulous in our preparation, we know what to expect. We know that they are a very strong, physical side.”

“They’ll be very dangerous at set pieces as were Stevenage the other night, so we’ve had a lesson about that already. So hopefully we’ll be switched on and ready for that kind of threat.”

“We can talk about the strengths of Bradford, but at the moment it’s got to all be about what we can do.”

Defence a priority

He admitted that the team needs to gel to produce better defensive displays: “The lads have worked very hard this week, defensively. We’ve done double sessions all this week, focussing on getting this team together.”

“My major concern is about Barnet and what we’re doing. My job this week is trying to get what players I’ve got to work as a unit.”

“I believe this team has always got a goal in it. But I also know that there’s always a leak in us as well. You’ve got to start with your defence.”

“I’ve been working on mental strength, on confidence, on defending as individuals, just being bolder and stronger to be able to compete at this level.”

Reluctant to predict the outcome of the fixture the temporary boss has a minimum requirement: “The very least I want to come away with is the feeling that whoever went up there to watch us thought: didn’t they fight.”


“We want to connect with the supporters; we want to get back with the supporters. I want to give the supporters some respectability back. I want to bring back a performance, and then the next thing I want is some points.”

Paul Fairclough had relatively little contact with the squad before taking charge. Now, having met the players and trained with them, he explains that he now has a better understanding.

“You don’t really get to know the squad until you’re in there with them, and I’m in there with them now. I’ve been alarmed by what I’ve found, but I’ve also seen there is a spark there, there’s something there but we also need some fresh players to come in.”

“The Chairman is in contact with other clubs on a regular basis. He has always done what he can, and will do whatever it takes.”

Player’s note

Captain, Glen Southam summed up the mood in the dressing room. “Considering the week we’ve had its pretty upbeat. After the disappointment of what’s happened you have to pick yourself up.

“You’ve got to train and work hard because we’re not in the position to take our foot off the pedal. Together, as a group, we’ve got to do the best we can.

“The Stevenage game has probably given us a kick up the backside, because that’s twice we’ve lost to local rivals in the space of a couple of months.”

“Personal pride has taken a bit of a kicking, but Saturday is a massive game. It’s a fight now; it’s about character and belief.”


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