Barking boss Gardner excited to come up against Tilbury manager Joe Keith
PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 January 2018
Barking will kick-off the New Year with a trip to mid-table Tilbury as they look to end their four game winless run.
The Blues make the short trip to Chadfields this evening (7.45pm) and will be hoping to get back on track with a win.
Manager Justin Gardner expects a tough match and is excited to come up against former Leyton Orient player Joe Keith for the first time in the dugout.
“It will be an interesting game as its two teams around the same level in the league,” he said.
“Joe Keith is a friend of mine, we’ve never faced each other as managers as it’s his first managerial job.
“They’ve picked up some decent results, they’re still a bit inconsistent, but bearing in mind I think he’s only been in the job for six or seven weeks.
“He’s a footballing man so I expect them to keep getting better.
“To be honest I haven’t watched them since he’s been in charge, I’ve had someone else watch them and from what I understand they’re trying to play football, which I wouldn’t expect anything less from Joe.”
Gardner spoke highly of a few of Tilbury’s players and believes it’s a tough place to go.
“They’ve got some experienced Bostik players in their squad, they’ve brought Kris Newby back, Jack Carlisle in the middle, Connor Mead.
“Tilbury is not an easy place to go and get points, but we’ll prepare for it like we do any game, and if we play the way we have been then I’ll be happy with that.”
The Blues go into the match of the back of nicking a late equaliser for a 1-1 draw against league leaders Hornchurch.
“First twenty minutes I thought Hornchurch probably could have had a couple of goals and showed why they’re walking away with the league,” Gardner said.
“After we weathered the storm and got used to the weather conditions I thought we were the better team for the remainder of the game.
“Saying that Hornchurch probably should have gone 2-0 up as Brad Warner was one on one with the keeper with about 25 minutes left and the keeper pulled off a great save.
“When Jimmy subbed George Purcell and Bradley Warner and put on a defender, I felt they were concerned about us, and that’s when I thought we have to go for it and we did that.”
The former Aveley manager admits he would have taken a point beforehand but is still disappointed not to pick up three.
“If you would have give me a point before the game against a team that is probably going to walk away with the league I would have bite your hand off but the boys were disappointed because of what we put into the game and we thought we deserved the three points.
“For Barking to be disappointed not to beat Hornchurch just goes to show you that the expectations in my time here have grown really quickly.”