Barnet v Pompey: the opposition view

New Barnet boss Kevin Nugent
New Barnet boss Kevin Nugent
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It’s been a funny week down at The Hive.

Barnet are generally happy, pushing for the play-offs this season and standing three points off the current places.

However, on Wednesday, Kevin Nugent was brought in from Charlton’s coaching staff to become head coach.

Rossi Eames and Henry Newman had been in joint-charge since Martin Allen left to join Eastleigh in December.

Results-wise, they collected 17 points from 12 games to maintain interest in the play-offs.

However, clearly the Bees’ chairman, Tony Kleanthous, wasn’t prepared to give them the job full-time so appointed Nugent.

Newman has now left the club, while Eames remains to be the assistant of Nugent, who has his first permanent managerial post.

The team, though, is not in bad shape, but this is now a transitional period and hopefully stability can be brought to the club.

Allen’s departure earlier in the campaign was something of a surprise, it came out of nowhere.

He has always disappeared at random times, having had four spells at the club, but the decision to join Eastleigh was still a shock to the system.

At the time the Bees were on a really good run, sitting outside the play-offs on goal difference.

Then Allen took Sam Togwell, Gavin Hoyte and Sam Muggleton with him, while Bondz N’Gala had left a few weeks previous.

That meant a fair bit of change among the players during the January transfer window, with eight new arrivals.

Thankfully, those who departed have been replaced by good players like Ricardo Santos from Peterborough, Luke Coulson from Eastleigh and Charlie Clough from Forest Green Rovers.

To be honest, the squad is now in a stronger position than when Allen left and the Bees are pretty happy with their business.

They won 1-0 at Morecambe on Tuesday night and are hoping this is the beginning of some good form as the side settles.

As for the team, John Akinde is once again an important contributor, with 21 goals so far this season.

He isn’t netting quite as regularly as did before and missed a penalty against Morecambe, so there could questions over his confidence. However, he remains a natural goalscorer.

Santos and Clough have caught the eye following their January arrivals, although these are still early days for them.

Another to have impressed is Mauro Vilhete, who is Barnet’s Mr Versatile and proven himself more than capable on the right of midfield or in the centre.