Earlier this week I went to The Hive, home of Barnet FC, to catch up with Bees manager Darren Currie for his thoughts on what has happened for his team since we sat down at the beginning of the season. This is the first of a three part blog, so settle down and read the thoughts, part 2 to follow shortly:
TK: Since we sat down in July, a great start with only one defeat in the first ten games and since then very much stop/start, how frustrating is the lack of consistency?
DC: Yeah, very frustrating! Obviously, we work day in, day out with these boys and we’re fortunate enough to see their quality on a daily basis. When they don’t play to their potential at a weekend it can the most frustrating part of the week for us and I believe in what they are capable of doing individually and collectively, so yeah frustration is the key word for how it’s been on too many occasions this season because when we’ve got it right and we have at times, most will tell you the best players in the world are the most consistent players and they’re the best decision makers, so what we need to do as a team and players as individuals if they have an aim of playing higher up the pyramid is to become more consistent and better decision makers, its as simple as that. Frustration is the perfect word.
TK: Despite the indifferent form we still sit well placed to push for a play-off place, are you maybe surprised we’re in with a shout when maybe we should be mid-table at best?
DC: I think the league is showing a lack of consistency too isn’t it, which is why anyone can go on a run and shoot up five or six places in the table. Obviously, I’m pleased that while we’ve had this spell where we haven’t gained as many points as we’d have liked we still find ourselves close enough. I think what will happen is a majority of teams will have good and bad spells throughout the rest of the season and we hope what we’ve done over the last two games against Ebbsfleet and Fylde that bad spell is now behind us and we’re more consistent through the second half of the season. The weather and pitches will have an impact on everyone as we go beyond December, the pressure will inevitably get to some teams, clubs, players etc and we must be ready to capitalise on that.
TK: Jack Taylor is having a stand-out season in his own right, how excited does it make you feel to have so many Academy graduates in the first team and been able to give debuts to many more?
DC: The club has done really well in recent times of producing young players, we’ve got Danny Senda running our youth team who has done a fantastic job and deserves a lot of credit for nurturing these players. He had a short brief spell with me last season when I first got the job, so I’ve seen how he is with the younger players first-hand, I know they’re in safe hands. What I’m prepared to do and Junior (Lewis) as well, because we’re football people is to look past ages and experiences and judge people just purely on football and if they’re good enough then they’re old enough, young enough, however you want to look at it, to warrant an opportunity.
Jack Taylor’s the sort of shining light if you like at the minute, obviously you’ve got Harry, Ephron, Wes, even Elliott (Johnson) who’s only 24/25 himself but he’s like an old man now really compared to the rest of them! But, he’s only a young man in football terms himself and then you’ve got young Boxy, Loic, people like that coming up behind and even if you go into the youth team you’ve got Okem and young Ronny Edwards and probably three or four more who are pushing for a professional career. They all need an opportunity and they all need a chance and the likes of Ephron and Jack are showing these players that given the right platform to showcase what they’re about they can grow into very good young players, particularly Jack whose been getting a few headlines of late but Ephron’s a special player as well, Jack I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet with him, so much more to come, but what he’s doing of late is impacting the football matches and that’s what someone of his ability should be doing, be it assists or goals and controlling games.
He’s got a brilliant team-mate beside him in James Dunne and on occasions Andre Boucard, now these senior boys what a lot of people on the outside don’t see is the influence these guys have on the younger players because they’re good trainers, they’re good talkers and know how to conduct themselves, so while these guys might not get the plaudits they deserve in my opinion from the outside world they’re seriously valued by myself and Junior and the staff here.
TK: Against Ebbsfleet we saw a change of captain in James Dunne, what was your thinking in moving away from Callum Reynolds?
DC: Just needed to relieve a bit of pressure off of him, people have a very mixed opinion of Callum which I’m aware of, but when you work with him he’s as good a professional as anyone we have at the club, conducts himself how I expect him to certainly correctly before games, how he looks after himself following games and he’s a good ball playing centre half for this league. That’s my opinion, people can agree or disagree, and he’s come under a little bit of fire, so I felt it was an opportunity to take a little bit of heat off of him. He still leads by example, he still ‘captains’ the team even without the armband.
It was a difficult conversation to have with him because of how I like him as a person and a player, but sometimes these things have to be done and it gives him a chance to focus on himself and his football.