ROVERS AND THE BEES TO SETTLE IN WELL
WILL Bristol Rovers and Barnet make a success of their return to the Football League? They certainly won’t struggle.
For Rovers, making an instant comeback following relegation in 2014 was a massive achievement.
Manager Darrell Clarke was under tremendous pressure down there. If they hadn’t got promoted, I think he’d have lost his job. I’m glad he didn’t. I saw Darrell at The Non-League Paper’s National Game Awards in May and the way he was talking about Rovers’ future was very encouraging.
He’s not rushing out and buying players on silly money.
In my days at the Mem, money was thrown around all over the place and people earned quite a lot.
I think that went against them because players were coming for the cash, not for the club. They were trying to buy success instead of earn it.
Darrell has turned that round. These days, you aren’t rewarded simply for turning up. You’re rewarded for success and that’s how it should be.
As for Barnet, they were nowhere near the best side on paper last year. At the start of the season, no-one was even talking about them making the top six.
But Martin Allen has a knack for turning an average squad into a great team and that’s exactly what he did.
He knows the division. He know what he wants. He likes big, physical players, he likes to go direct and he’s not ashamed to say ‘This is the way I like to play and this is what has brought me success’.
Besides, the jump from the Conference is nothing these days. The top six or seven are easily good enough to compete in League Two.
Barnet will be safe and Rovers should push for a second promotion.