Transcript: Read what Lawrie Sanchez said in his last Barnet press conference
19:42 16 April 2012
The Bees boss spoke after the game against Hereford
Lawrie Sanchez has been replaced as Barnet manager by Martin Allen today after guiding the club to just three points above the relegation zone.
His last game in charge was the 1-1 draw with Hereford where Ben May cancelled out Delroy Facey’s opener.
Below is a transcript of his final post-match interview as Barnet manager.
Interviewer: Probably a game that you expected. A real rollercoaster wasn’t it?
Lawrie Sanchez: Yeah. There were two teams fighting for their lives and we knew it wouldn’t be an easy game tonight. Obviously we started quite well then they got their goal from their first effort on target. We were all over the place for about 10 minutes and I was worried that they’d go out of the game completely if they got a second one. I decided to make a change. It calmed us down and then Ben [May] scored his goal and got us back on terms. I thought we finished the half stronger. Second half, I thought we had the majority of play and they had the best chance to win the game.
Interviewer: A key issue in the game was that penalty decision on 70 minutes for maybe the handball from the corner. What happened?
Sanchez: We were trying to look at it on the tape. The linesman said Ben May handballed it. I thought he was too far away to handle it. There was definitely a hand there. We’re trying to look at it on a replay. I can’t see which player it was. But there was definitely. Our players claimed for it and those things decide games at the end of the game.
Interviewer: Hereford had a couple of last minute chances and Clovis Kamdjo proved his worth with an amazing clearance didn’t he?
Sanchez: Yeah. Great clearance. Brilly [Dean Brill] brought off a good save. We got caught trying to win the ball and he got turned and allowed their player in. He got a shot off which Brilly has saved well and then Clovis has got back on the line and then saved brilliantly. It’s the first piece of what I’d say fortune we’ve had recently. Something that’s gone in our favour. You’d have quite easily seen that fly into the goal and lose a game where I thought we were the better team. A point each. It’s more important for us than it is for them. We’re not in a great position but I’d rather be in our position than Hereford’s. It’s still in our own hands. We’re playing well enough. We haven’t played as well tonight as we did against Crawley. We are full of running, giving everything we’ve got. It’s just we get undone by one ball. We got undone by the cross and we got undone by the ball at the end. It’s something we’ll have to continue to work at.
Interviewer: The substitution was a bold move but Ben May [who came on for Sead Hajrovic] made an impact very quickly didn’t he?
Sanchez: They were on top and scored their goal. Our passing was all over the place and it was going away from us. That 10 minutes was crucial. If we’d lost that second goal we’d be looking up at Hereford. Ben came on and he got his third goal in six games. He has certainly scored goals here for us and gives us a focal point up front. He get his body about, causes problems in the air. He’s been a good signing for us. As I say, certainly with his goals and his all round play.
Interviewer: It seemed to be a fantastic atmosphere tonight don’t you think?
Sanchez: Fantastic atmosphere. [3,100] was it? [3,189 was the attendance]. People like a dogfight don’t they. As a manager, it’s not where you want to be at the end of the season. The sun is out in April and you’re fighting for your life. It’s where we are and where we have been for the last two years. We have got experience of getting out of this. Certainly as a manager I’ve had good experiences of getting out of these type of situations. Southend will be a tough game next Friday. If we play like we have done for the past four or five games, bit by bit we’ll drag ourselves clear of this situation.
Interviewer: What’s the situation regarding Darren Dennehy’s injury?
Sanchez: He had an injection during last week, which we hoped will give him a chance to be fit but he’s not fit.
Interviewer: What have you learnt from this experience. It’s a tough old battle isn’t it?
Sanchez: Yeah. It’s my fourth time doing this. I did it at Wycombe when I went in there at the end of the season and was successful. I did it at Fulham, with five games to go and did it there. Barnet last year with four games to go and was successful again. We’ve got three games to go so we’ve got to make sure fourth time is a success. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve been there the whole season and do it. It’s a strange position to have been here all season to think how we’ve got ourselves in this situation. The league table doesn’t lie. We’ve played really well at times and have also played poorly. We’ve shown some decent form and decent fight. We haven’t got the rewards of it. The first bit of luck we’ve had for a while is Clovis getting his body on the line. We’ve had no luck in front of goal for us attacking. This is the first bit of luck we’ve had defensively. Of the three teams at the bottom I’d rather be in our position than Hereford or Macclesfield.
Interviewer: Hereford feel Clovis handled it. What did you see?
Sanchez: It’s hit his midriff. There’s no hand involved.
Interviewer: You’ve maintained the three point cushion.
Sanchez: It’s important. We said to the players. We want to win this football match and get a six point gap but we couldn’t afford to lose this football match. At 1-0 we were rocking a little bit. They were chucking things forward. If they’d got a second goal during that time we might be in a completely different situation now. The introduction of Ben May settled us down and his goal got us right back in it. We had more possession second half but they probably had the second chances.
Interviewer: The fans seemed well up for it tonight didn’t they?
Sanchez: The Barnet fans are used to a dogfight. It’s thrilling to watch because you know what’s at stake. If you’re mid-table and you have nothing to play for you’re indifferent to the game. If you’re at the bottom or top those points mean so much. It adds an impetus to the whole evening. I’d rather do it at the top of the table rather than the bottom. The fans came in great numbers and stayed with the team and they’ve got to do that now. We’ve got one game left at home against AFC Wimbledon, my old club, and we’ve got two on the road [Southend and Burton]. Three games to go, nine points to play for. We’re capable of getting all nine points. I have no doubts we are capable of doing that. All we have to do is get more points than the teams below us.
Interviewer: How is your future affected by what happens?
Sanchez: I’ve never been relegated and I don’t intend to do it now. That’s the only thing that’s important and Barnet stay in the Football League. Then it takes care of itself. Players, manager, club, Underhill, Hive, new stadium.
Interviewer: Do you see yourself here next year?
Sanchez: My priority, I’m not fudging the issue, is to make sure this team stays up and whatever happens after that, happens after that and I’m committed to doing that.
Interviewer: Some fans called for your head?
Sanchez: You’re always going to have that. You’re at the bottom of the table and not everyone is going to love you. You can be top of the table and people not like you. It is what it is. They’ve got to back the team and keep behind the team. 3,100 were here tonight and I don’t know how many were our fans [c2500 were Barnet supporters] so there are 1,000 more than normal in here. They’re interested because we’re in a dogfight. If we were playing for nothing there would have been 1,500 people.
Interviewer: It keeps everything alive doesn’t it?
Sanchez: That’s fine as long as we stay up then it’s worth the hassle.
Interviewer: How is Ben May because he wasn’t 100 per cent fit coming into the game?
Sanchez: He had a slight hamstring. We didn’t want to push him. He’s trained by himself. The physio said he was chomping at the bit but we kept him with the physio and he said there was no reaction so he could be fit. Obviously Izale and Holmsey ran Crawley ragged in the last game so we thought we’d use him if we needed to and we did after 20 minutes so he came on, got his goal. Three goals in six games. That’s a big plus for us as goalscoring isn’t his strength is it? Certainly not at Stevenage but he’s done the job for us. He’s led the line well and he gives us an aerial out.
Interviewer: Inspired substitution really?
Sanchez: Often you get nothing from them. When you’re a centre forward you’ve always got a chance they’ll score a goal.
Interviewer: You said after Crawley you didn’t know what kind of performance you’d get tonight. I guess you were proved right?
Sanchez: It was never going to be the same type of game. You’ve got a team that are fighting for their lives. We were both trying to drown each other. It’s very difficult to swim when you’re trying to drown each other. I knew it would be like this tonight. We were never going to control it like we did at Crawley. The difference between the Premier League and League Two. The goalkeeper puts the ball down. In the Premier League they play it to the full back they take five minutes to get up the field into attack. In League Two they put the ball down and kick it right up the field and suddenly you’re defending. You have a shot at your goal for one minute and you’re defending the next and it’s continuous for 90 minutes. You don’t see that in the Premier League. Possession, possession, possession, possession, maybe a shot or it breaks down and then it’s possession, possession. Here it’s a shot at their goal. Right we’ll get the ball up the other end. Shot at their goal. You can’t stop it. You can’t control it. You can’t get on top of it and stop it happening. It’s not as if you’re breaking up play, one ball. They’re hoping for one big flick. Sometimes we’re hoping for one flick and someone gets in and it’s a shot at goal. It’s very difficult to stop that happening.
Interviewer: Barnet have played better against the more passing sides recently. Will Southend suit you more?
Sanchez: Yeah. I don’t worry about Southend. I don’t worry about us going there and playing well. I know we’re capable of beating them. I was worried tonight about the level of performance we’d have. At the end of the day there was enough energy and effort but perhaps not enough quality that we had against Crawley. There wasn’t as many goalscoring opportunities against Crawley but we did have opportunities. We did have enough to win a football match again. At the end of the day we had to hang on with Clovis blocking on the line but that’s football I’m afraid.
Interviewer: Will you be watching Macclesfield tomorrow?
Sanchez: Whatever Macclesfield do tomorrow it’s in our hands still. So yes we want them to lose but at the same time, while it’s in our hands we won’t worry about what other teams do. The minute it comes out of our hands, I’ll study what they’re doing. It’s in our hands. It wasn’t with three games to go last season. I think we were relegated at half time at Accrington so we’re not at this moment in time. We are where we are. Macclesfield can’t go above us whatever happens tomorrow. We’ve got AFC here and Burton away and obviously Southend on Friday night. We’ve got to accumulate as many points or as many points as the teams below us accumulate.
Interviewer: Is it a disadvantage playing your game before Hereford and Macclesfield?
Sanchez: Not really. It’s an advantage if you win and a disadvantage if you lose. I think, with small crowds that Friday night football is better. I think the atmosphere is better on a Friday than on the Saturdays when other stuff is going on. See all the managers here. You see the cameras here and everybody here as it’s the only game going on tonight in this part of London. On Saturday we’re lost with everybody else and shopping and everything else that goes with it.