‘I wouldn’t even use the word complacency’ – Colchester United boss John McGreal ahead of Barnet clash

Graham Westley, who is trying to guide Barnet away from the relegation zone. His Bees side take on C

Graham Westley, who is trying to guide Barnet away from the relegation zone. His Bees side take on Colchester United this weekend. Picture: JOE DENT/JMP - Credit: Archant

Barnet, tomorrow’s visitors to Colchester United, are in danger of becoming a yo-yo club between the Football League and the National League.

The North London-based club are rock bottom of the Football League, six points adrift of safety after winning just six of their first 34 league games of the season.

They are already on their third manager of the campaign, with Graham Westley following in the footsteps of previous incumbents Rossi Eames and Mark McGhee.

Appointed the full-time boss last May after a spell as caretaker, Eames was eventually switched to the post of ‘Head of Development’ in November, to make way for the experienced McGhee, who likewise was ‘moved upstairs’ to become Barnet’s Technical Director in January.

Now Westley has been charged with the tough test of keeping the Bees in the Football League.


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Promoted to the League for the first time in 1991, when they ironically pipped tomorrow’s hosts Colchester United to the Conference title, the Bees were relegated back into non-league in 2001, only to return in 2005 for another spell until 2013, when again they suffered relegation.

Martin Allen secured promotion back to the Football League in 2015, but at the moment the odds are against them avoiding the dreaded drop back into the National League this term.

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Even so, U’s boss John McGreal is expecting a big challenge for his play-off chasing team tomorrow afternoon.

“I wouldn’t even use the word ‘complacency’ ahead of this weekend,” insisted McGreal.

“Every team in this division is capable of beating each other.

- ‘There is no point in castigating the players’ – John McGreal

“There are some big teams at the bottom of this league, and also some big clubs that have dropped out of the league altogether.

“Graham Westley has come in and shored things up at Barnet. He has got them a couple of wins, they are fighting for their lives, and have done quite well of late, apart from this week’s result.

“His teams are always well-drilled and hard-working. They are trying to win matches to get out of their current predicament, just like Crewe were last week.”

Barnet suffered a 3-1 home loss to Carlisle on Tuesday evening, despite taking the lead through Almeida Santos. John Akinde missed a penalty on the hour mark, and the Cumbrians scored three times in the last 20 minutes.

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