Dean Brennan reveals secret behind Barnet’s turnaround

Barnet celebrate Kian Flanagan's opening goal against Aldershot Town

Not many would have fancied a walk in Dean Brennan’s shoes at Barnet this season.

Ahead of the new season, the Irishman was drafted in to oversee an overhaul of the playing staff at the club and help new boss Harry Kewell get started.

Kewell’s stint would last just seven games.

A catastrophic start saw him take just two points from his time in charge before he was sacked in mid-September.

As the club looked tentatively for a replacement, Brennan threw his hand up and offered to lend a hand.

Since then, the Bees have lost only once – Saturday’s 2-1 win over Aldershot was their third in four games.

When he’s speaking to the media, Brennan doesn’t mind the odd cliché question. 

In fact, he was probably expecting the one about what his ‘secret’ has been.

But his answer wasn’t one dripping in tales about a complicated ethos or a rigorous tactical plan. It’s much simpler than that.

“It’s nothing more than good, old-fashioned, honest hard work and nothing else,” he says.

“We’re keeping things really simple with hard work on the training ground and on matchdays. We make a lot of tackles and that is so important in this division. 

“You’ve got to earn the right to win football matches. I said to the players when I first came in that they’ve got to do it for themselves and for their families and earn the right to show their capabilities. 

“You can’t just walk up in this division and expect to win football matches. 

“The National League is a top division – Sutton and Hartlepool have both shown that with their promotions and they’re in title races now in the league above.”

Second from bottom when Brennan took the reins, the club are now safely mid-table and looking good value for a previously unimaginable push for the play-offs.

But with a good chunk of the season still left to play, Brennan is cautious and reckons they might still need to keep an eye out over their shoulder for a little while longer.

“Our form doesn’t change my thinking whatsoever,” Brennan says.

“We challenged the players to get two points per game and that’s what we’ve done, and we’ve played well in all of the games apart from Wrexham.

“That comes with togetherness, and that’s what we get from the lads and we’re creating that winning mentality hopefully.”

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