Martin Allen: Barnet manager coy on long-term future after relegation to National League

Martin Allen consoles his Barnet players
Martin Allen consoles his Barnet players, but would not confirm his future at the Hive

Barnet manager Martin Allen remains coy about his future beyond this season after their final-day relegation from the English Football League.

The Bees won 3-0 against already-relegated Chesterfield, but an inferior goal difference saw them drop out of League Two, with Morecambe surviving.

Barnet won five of their eight games after Allen's return in March.

"Today is not about me and my situation, it's about Barnet Football Club," Allen told BBC Radio London.

"To have Barnet's biggest crowd (5,539 - a record at The Hive), the stadium was fantastic, the pitch played really well, it has been a great effort from everyone behind the scenes and from the supporters."

Giving the Bees a lift

When Allen began his fifth spell at Barnet boss, the London club were seven points adrift at the foot of the table.

However, their upturn in form since Allen's return had ignited hopes of staying up going into the final game.

The 52-year-old, nicknamed 'Mad Dog', was the architect of their most recent promotion from the fifth tier in 2015 and is confident there are all of the ingredients for a similar push next term - whether he remains in charge or not.

"I'm so proud of the players who have committed everything to me since that Luton game," Allen said of the squad. "I thanked the players for making me very happy.

"They have been criticised heavily, but I promised them if they listened to me and did as I advised and worked hard they would win games.

"Going down is not the end of the world, I believe there is a really good group of players in that dressing room.

"We all had a great time in the Conference, there's nothing to fear. This club can still go from strength to strength, sometimes you have to go down to come back up."

Bentley relieved to secure safety post-takeover

Jim Bentley
Jim Bentley shares his relief and delight with the fans at Coventry following Morecambe's survival

Defeat by Barnet in the penultimate round of games put Morecambe at risk of final-day disappointment after 11 years in the EFL.

However, the Shrimps ground out a priceless goalless draw with play-off bound Coventry to retain their place in the same week their takeover by Bond Group Investments Limited was completed.

Manager Jim Bentley was emotional at the full-time whistle, having spent 10 years as a player with the club and continuing his association as manager after succeeding Sammy McIlroy in 2011.

"Everyone knows how I feel about the club," he told BBC Radio Lancashire. "We let ourselves down last week but it's been in our hands and we got the job done today.

"I'm made up for everyone associated with the club."

Bentley was a member of the squad that tasted Wembley success in achieving promotion to the Football League in 2007, and this achievement was almost as sweet for the former defender.

"Everyone's got to be pulling together in the right direction and be positive," Bentley added. "We've got to enjoy the ride, the ups and downs.

"I said last week Wembley was my highlight, but this is my second highlight since I've been at the club."