Here is part 2 of the three part blog featuring Darren Currie who I sat down with again last week to catch up on how the season has shaped up so far:
TK: Back to back wins despite the gap between games, how much confidence do you think that will give going into the busy festive period?
DC: Winning football matches always breeds confidence we know that, and I feel if this group can get that belief and that confidence then the ability is there. We’ve seen it in flashes across the season, and because I work with these players daily and see how they operate, I know they’re a confident group and they have high expectations of each other and what they haven’t managed to do on a few occasions is get over disappointment quick.
There’s been times where we’ve come from behind in games, one or two goals down and that has shown character and confidence. Unfortunately it started to happen more often than we wanted and trying to get that confidence from disappointment back again started to shrink a bit and that was frustrating, frustrating because in 99% of games we dominate and control possession. Without putting my head in the sand, the one statistic that matters the most is goals.
We can point to plenty of games where we’ve had more shots, crosses, ball retention etc, but the opposition have scored two goals from three shots, so I’m very aware of that. It can be a confidence breaker, but what these two games have done with seven goals and looking a real threat going forward it’s them more of a belief. We have a system where players are playing in positions they’re comfortable with using their abilities and attributes. I’m asking exactly the same things of them as I was at the beginning of the season, it hasn’t changed even when the results weren’t going our way. It’s easy for me to say I knew we would come out of this sticky spell; I believe in them as a group and if as individuals they can produce a performance within our team structure, we’ll always create chances and then we just need to be more clinical in front of goal which has led to the last two games which will lead to a great mood in the changing room which will breed the confidence to take into the Christmas period.
TK: There’s a couple of rumours flying around of a couple of imminent additions to the squad, any truth in them and if so, are we close?
DC: There’s no doubting we need a striker and a centre half, I am constantly on the lookout for the right personnel who can improve us. Any manager in the country or indeed the world will tell you there are restrictions to any of us, I have them and so will the next manager after me and I have to abide by them, but that won’t stop me looking. If I find that one or two that can improve Barnet FC then I hope to be at the front of the queue.
TK: With Rihards out on loan at Hendon are there plans to send some of the younger players out as well for further experience?
DC: I’d love to, there’s nothing more I hate than these young boys coming in every week without that feeling of 3pm on a Saturday. What I’ve had to do is keep one or two of them close by because of the injuries, but once I feel I’ve got enough of my senior players back then these young ones will be shipped straight out on loan. They know my feelings; they know I want them to get out and play, at clubs which suit both us and the player, Junior and I have enough friends at all levels to get these boys out to, last season we sent Martyn Box and Antonis Vasiliou to Berkhamsted and we often had reports back saying how much of a credit they were to the club and to themselves, so I want these boys to go out and come back with experience under their belts.
TK: Do you think the only things lacking from us is better defending at set pieces and being more clinical in front of goal?
DC: They are the only things! Without a doubt! I hear so often ‘well they mustn’t work on set pieces because they always concede from them’ but trust me we do! Me being an attacking players all my career all I want to do in training is attacking set pieces and Junior sometimes has to rein me in and say there are other areas of the pitch to work set pieces, him being a defender he wants to be working on those. But I always want to attack and I harp on back to those statistics that we are up there with the best in the league for crosses and shots but not high enough in conversion rate. So I know my team, we can get to the final third relatively well, but clinically we let ourselves down on too many occasions, there’s no denying that, and on set pieces, Bromley at home springs to mind as does Woking here, teams we’re dominating, Stockport another one, we’re in control and because we haven’t taken the chances we get undone at the other end of the pitch, those three stand out alone that had we won all three, we’re sitting on 43 points, that’s second in the table.
JL: Sometimes it can be that lack of concentration where you’re dominating games and then they get a corner, not had one for most of the game and it’s not even been relentless defending at that point.
DC: How I view the game is teams come to us and even at their own place say well they’re gonna have more ball than us so is their emphasis in training all week on how are they going to score because they know we will have a majority of the ball? Do they work on set pieces because they see a lot of teams score against us from that situation, I don’t know? Their energy and effort goes into scoring from set pieces which I understand, our energy and effort goes into not letting it happen although we’ve not been good enough at it.
TK: Having sat down with Strevs (Ben Strevens) a few weeks ago, I know you two talk a lot, are there other managers you turn to for advice and relief as a young manager?
DC: I’ve got my father-in-law who is Steve Walford (ex West Ham Utd), he’s been a number two to Martin O’Neil for about twenty years. We have a lot of Sunday dinners together as a family; so I chew his ear a lot about anything to do with football, how Martin used to mange and also his man-management skills. Junior’s been in the game at the highest level and coached for a long time and he sees the game very much as I do so we talk each other to death about things in the office and on the phone. We’re constantly throwing ideas at each other, ways to improve etc. I’ve got plenty of friends in football who I’ll happily sit down with and chat football as you well know, I don’t think I have all the answers and I want to absorb as much information as I can from as many people as I can.
Part 3 will follow this week featuring questions from some of the Only Barnet message board users.