Barking boss Gardner feels his side must stay grounded ahead of clash with Swifts
PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 March 2019
Barking manager Justin Gardner says his side must keep their feet on the ground despite there being a real buzz around the club.
The Blues welcome fourth-placed Heybridge Swifts to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday after picking up back-to-back wins in the Bostik North.
The former Aveley boss says following the news about the club’s plans of a 4G pitch and their recent form confidence is high but they must stay grounded.
“With the news of the 4G being laid in the summer, it’s obviously put a spring in everyone’s step and the players are probably fighting to show they want to be at the club next season,” he said.
“I’ve had a huge amount of interest from players that want to play for us next season as you can imagine.
“There is a buzz in the camp but that could down quickly come Saturday as we’re playing against a different kettle of fish in Heybridge.
“We’ll need to get our feet firmly on the ground before Saturday really because we have Heybridge and then Bowers.”
Boss Gardner feels picking up wins against Great Wakering Rovers and Soham Town Rangers was massively important for their morale heading into the Swifts clash, adding: “It was important we got six points in the last two games against teams in and around us.
“We will look forward to Heybridge and look to build on our last two results but we know we have to step it up a gear as, no disrespect to the teams that we’ve played, we are playing a team in the play-offs.”
Barking have bolstered their attacking options by bringing in forward Alex Teniola from Phoenix Sports.
Teniola started the season at Aveley, where he made nine appearances and scored one goal before moving to Sports, where he found the net seven times in 16 matches.
He got off the mark on his debut as the Blues sealed a 2-1 win at Soham at the weekend.
“Alex did what I knew he could do, he’s an excellent signing for us, and it’s just a shame we couldn’t get a signing like that six months ago because we’d be talking about us probably being in the play-offs,” said Gardner.
“If you watched us for the first 25 minutes of the game you could tell he didn’t know our players, which was understandable. But then once he got a foothold of that, he grew in confidence.”