Stevenage injury victims not to be rushed back for Barnet encounter

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

Manager Darren Sarll will not rush a host of Stevenage first team regulars back from injury this weekend at Barnet with the busy festive period around the corner.

Goalkeeper Jamie Jones, left back Kgosi Ntlhe and attacking pair Tyler Walker and Ben Kennedy all look set to remain out of contention for the Sky Bet League Two Hertfordshire derby after missing Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to Blackpool.

Ahead of the trip to The Hive, Sarll said: “We are still a little from where we were with the depth of squad we had recently.

“It’s the reason why you recruit for times like this, you can always account for 15 per cent of your squad not being available.

“It’s important we don’t rush them as when they are ready to go, hopefully prior to the Boxing Day game, they can play those two games in quick succession [against Cambridge United on Boxing Day and Colchester United on New Year’s Eve].

“Kennedy, Tyler Walker, Kosi and Jamie Jones are all starters, so we know that we have players to come back in, that will be nice.

“I don’t really worry about things like this I like it when it feels like the chips are against you and you have to dig deep.”

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Barnet are in a period of transition with Martin Allen leaving his manager role to become boss at National League side Eastleigh and Rossi Eames taking interim control of the Bees with Henry Newman as his assistant.

Sarll can relate to Eames having had a similar role with Stevenage last term before taking the manager’s job full-time.

“I don’t know what Rossi and Henry’s thoughts are on that position at Barnet in the long term, but I’m sure they will enjoy the change of environment and the opportunity to work with senior players and be the men at the helm,” he said.

“Barnet had a very good youth team that Rossi coached and developed very well, you could see that with the team they put out last week, he put out a few more younger players than maybe what Martin would have done.”

Sarll was not surprised that Allen, an old friend of his, dropped into non-league to manage a club with big ambitions.

“It’s very much reported they [Eastleigh] spend an awful lot of money on wages at that level, they have probably got a bigger budget than ours,” he said.

“He probably looked at it as a new challenge and a challenge he could build a club and take it a bit further maybe.

“I’ve not spoken to Martin, but I’m guessing it would be a good challenge for him at this stage of his career and one he feels there will be less financial restriction on his ambitions.

“He’s one of those managers you want to pay for, his personality his charisma, I was fortunate to get to know him when his son was an apprentice for me at Brentford.

“Can you imagine having Martin Allen as a parent on the touchline for two years when he was out of work? I learnt a lot in those two years.

“He’s been very supportive of me and one of the things I was looking forward to when I got the job was playing Martin Allen.

“We are both fiery and I thought it would be a good old fashioned slug and then we’d shake hands and have a drink afterwards, but it’s not to be.”

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