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Barking manager Gardner is dubbing Bowers & Pitsea as the 'real deal' ahead of clash

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 March 2019

The ball hits the back of Heybridge's net as Tobi Joseph's header beats Chris Haigh (pic Terry Gilbert)

The ball hits the back of Heybridge's net as Tobi Joseph's header beats Chris Haigh (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner has dubbed Bowers & Pitsea as the 'real deal' ahead of their clash this weekend.

Alex Teniola challenges former Barking player Toib Adeyemi (pic Terry Gilbert)Alex Teniola challenges former Barking player Toib Adeyemi (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will head to the Len Salmon Stadium on Saturday to take on the Bostik North leaders as they look to continue climbing the table.

And the 38-year-old boss is eager to try causing an upset after his side have won three consecutive matches, including a 4-1 win over promotion hopefuls Heybridge Swifts last weekend.

“Let’s be honest, Bowers are a different sort of prospect, and the league table proves that,” he said.

“They’ve only lost two games all season and I can’t remember the last time they did lose a game, so no disrespect to my team as we’re in good form at the moment, but we’re talking about a team that’s been together for a whole season.

“We’re under no illusions that it’s even going to be a different prospect to playing Heybridge, and that’s no disrespect to them, but Bowers are the real deal.

“We’ll go there and just try to upset the apple cart.”

Barking moved up to eighth in the table after their win over Swifts and Gardner believes his side no longer have to worry about the teams below them.

“I think we’ve got enough points that we don’t need to worry about anyone behind us, so now we can enjoy it,” he added.

“The nine points from the last three games has been huge and if we can manage to get anything from Saturday it’s a bonus.

“We go into the game as massive underdogs and against a team that’s probably in cruise control at the moment whereas we’re trying to climb the hill.”

The former Aveley manager heaped praise on attacker Alex Teniola and the impact of his addition in the last two fixtures since joining from Phoenix Sports.

“Teniola has been a huge addition, not just what he has brought to the team, but as a character,” he added.

“He’s been vital, and he’s the kind of person that fits straight into a changing room right way. I knew that would be the case as well as I’ve worked with him before.

“He has given the whole place a lift and if we could have had him four or five months ago, I’m pretty confident we’d be in the play-offs with what we’ve got as well. I just wanted to say well done to him and I’m sure all the players agree.”

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