Barking boss Gardner heaps praise on side’s efforts but is still looking for plenty more
PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 January 2019
Barking manager Justin Gardner says his side should be proud of their progress although he still wants more in the second half of the season.
The Blues will welcome Canvey Island to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday as they look to cause an upset.
Mark Bentley’s side currently sit 10th in the Bostik North, only three points above Gardner’s team, having played one more match.
“When I see Canvey in the same sort of position as us in the league, it makes me feel us at Barking are doing better than we think,” the 38-year-old said.
“We’re frustrated we’re not doing better, but Canvey are a team who should be up the table with their resources and set-up. They should be challenging for the title, so we’re obviously doing something right.”
The former Aveley boss says the pressure will be on their opponents, who will be disappointed with anything but three points.
“They have to come to Barking to win, simple as that, and there are no mistakes about that,” he added. “If they don’t get anything but a win, it’s a bad day really.”
Gardner did reveal he was shocked to see The Gulls that low down the table at this stage in the season after watching them on New Year’s Day.
“I went to watch them on New Year’s Day, they beat Basildon 4-1, and they’ve got some good players,” he said.
“They’ve got two good wingers in Josh Hutchinson and Marlon Agyakwa, then Martin Tuohy and Adam Vyse up front as well.
“When I looked at them, I was a bit surprised where they were in the league, as I thought they looked like they should be doing better.”
Gardner also admitted Barking are actively looking to solve their goalscoring issues while praising his defence.
“I’ve brought in another forward, but he will take a couple of weeks to get up his match fitness,” he said.
“He’s a player that has played at a higher standard, but he hasn’t played much football this year.
“As I’ve said all season, and I know it’s easier said than done, if we had a forward, as you can see from our defence, we’re in title-winning form. We are proactive and that is why I’ve looked at a fair few forwards this season as I’m trying to find that one that will come in and score.”