Barking manager Gardner says playing at Bury is like heading into a 'Lions Den'
PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 December 2018
Barking manager Justin Gardner is expecting another uncomfortable experience as his side make the trip to what he describes as the 'Lions Den'.
The Blues will head to Bury Town’s Ram Meadow ground on Saturday as they look to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
Gardner’s side head into the match sitting 13th in the Bostik north table and full of confidence after sealing a 2-1 victory over in-form Grays Athletic last weekend.
“I have only been there once, but it was the most uncomfortable place to go, the fans don’t make it comfortable, and that’s not in a critical way either as they make it feel like a Lions den,” said the 38-year-old.
“The fans are right on top of you, they seem to get into the referee’s head, and seem to get the game in their favour.
“For me it wasn’t a pleasant experience, but that is how home grounds should make away teams feel.
“If we had their sort of fan base I would want them to be like that – make it a hard place to play.
“I don’t think you should go into an away game and enjoy the day, so credit to them.”
Former Aveley boss Gardner expects a tough clash and says the pressure is on opposite number Ben Chenery to get a result as his side are expected to push for promotion this term.
“It will be a tough game, they’re a massive club,” Gardner added.
“As long as I’m aware, apart from the last couple of years they’ve always been a Bostik Premier Division side.
“I’m sure the manager has pressure on him to get them back there as they’re a big club and he’s been there a while.
“We will go there and look to give a good account of ourselves like we have all season and if we do that I’ll be a happy man.”
Gardner is however hoping they can build on their victory against Grays and their London Senior Cup win over Tower Hamlets last week.
A midweek 4-0 win over Hamlets sealed the Blues’ place in the quarter-finals of the cup competition where they will meet National League South side Dulwich Hamlet.
The date for that fixture is yet to be decided but the tie will be held at Mayesbrook Park.
“I hope and pray we can now build some momentum from the two wins,” said Gardner.