Barking boss Gardner eager for a reaction from his side when they travel to Witham

PUBLISHED: 14:00 25 January 2019

Darrelle Russell attacks for Barking against Canvey (pic Terry Gilbert)

Darrelle Russell attacks for Barking against Canvey (pic Terry Gilbert)


Barking manager Justin Gardner wants a reaction from his side after a poor showing in their 3-1 defeat to Canvey Island last weekend.

Canvey keeper Harry Palmer punches clear at Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)Canvey keeper Harry Palmer punches clear at Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will travel away to in-form Witham Town on Saturday as they look to get back to winning ways in Bostik North.

But Gardner knows it will be a tough match as Mark Ashford’s side have impressed in recent weeks by winning six of their last eight fixtures.

“One thing we will get is a reaction and that’s the minimal I expect really,” the 38-year-old said.

“I think they’ve won a handful of games on the bounce recently as well so it’s a nice and easy game for us to respond.”

The former Billericay Town boss praised opposite number Ashford for backing his young squad to perform.

And he believes too many teams in the Bostik North have taken them lightly but they should be given credit.

“It’s a settled young squad that they’re playing now and fair play to Mark the manager because at the beginning of the season people thought they were going to be the whipping boys,” he said.

“In some cases that does happen, but in some cases it has another affect where they feel no one is going to take them serious or respect them, and I think that’s what is happening.

“Once teams start to respect them and give them the credit they’re due, I’m pretty sure they’ll find it harder to get points.

“At the moment teams are not taking them serious, and you should take every team serious, as there is no one in the league that is an easy game. Look at Dereham – they got 1-1 draw with one of the league favourites Aveley on Saturday.

“You can’t predict anything in this league. The only thing I would predict is only one team will be relegated before the last day of the season as I think it will go right down to the wire.”

Gardner was pleased with Tobi Joseph’s impact off the bench in their defeat to Canvey as he netted in the 88th minute.

“He was obviously trying to drag his team back into it and wants to stake a claim to keep that shirt,” he added.

“I was pleased with his performance, I was also pleased with Sahr Kabba, the new striker (ex-Welling). Once we get him sharp, I’m sure he’ll be a useful signing for us.”

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