Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Travelling taking its toll?

20/08/11 – Rotherham – Don Valley Stadium – 310 miles
23/08/11 – Burnley – Turf Moor – 444 miles
27/08/11 – Bradford – Coral Windows Stadium – 392 miles
30/08/11 – Colchester – Weston Homes Community Stadium – 130 miles

So in just 11 days, Barnet fans, players and staff have been travelling a little under 1300 miles. Obviously when the fixture list came out, we could have no complaints about expecting to have two away games in succession – regardless of distance, especially with most teams being ‘out of the way’. But for two cup competitions (the Carling Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy), resulting in a further two away trips to fall in between those two League games is somewhat unfortunate.
For a small squad like ours, with the numerous injuries to players like Darren Dennehy, and Steve Kabba (who should be okay to play on Saturday against Accrington), the three long trips ‘up North’ have been difficult. With fatigue setting in with the countless training sessions and miles racked up, it’s with no real surprise the team have found it difficult to deliver positive results (Colchester aside).
Managing to hold a Championship Burnley side at the end of 90 minutes in the Carling Cup on their turf could well be the highlight of the aforementioned fixtures. Taking them to extra time miles from home, and then having to travel a similar distance three days later for a League 2 fixture, it’s clear that the same energy and determination would be lacking. Which of course was the case in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of (then manager-less) Bradford City. It would probably be wrong to quickly jump to conclusions and say the team weren’t good enough, and although the defending was similar to what we have been used to expect – how many teams of a similar size and calibre could say they’d not fall short?
I’ve not been able to get to any of the games, so thought it’d be interesting to hear the opinions of someone who was; as well as how the team think they’ve coped.

Fan’s view:
4 away games in 10 days is not a usual occurrence – beginning with two league games in a row on the Saturdays were scheduled league games at both Rotherham and Bradford. Our progress in the League Cup gave us another away game at probably the longest unattractive game available in Burnley and in the JPT handed us another away game at nearby Colchester on consecutive Tuesdays.

It is apparent that four away games in such a small amount of time is bound to affect the players mentally and physically. However, in our first two games previously at Morecambe and Portsmouth we put some really impressive performances in and ended up winning both 1-0.
At Rotherham we continued to impress and we really should have won this game in which we mostly dominated. Although it’s also fair to say at the start of this four game away special most would have taken a draw, which is how it ended (2-2).
At Burnley we put another decent performance in but tiredness must have kicked in after the initial 90 minutes, and we lost out in Extra time.
At Bradford after a fairly even first half in the second half we just fell apart some bad defending did not help but you have to wonder had all the travelling had taken its toll on some”.
Thanks to Chris Emery

Player’s view:
We are looking forward to playing in front of our home crowd on Saturday; it’s been a long few days”.
Thanks to Dan Senda, who can be found on Twitter here

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