Chesterfield manager Martin Allen praises mentor John Still ahead of clash against his old club Barnet

Martin Allen.
Martin Allen.

Chesterfield manager Martin Allen has described his opposite number on Saturday - Barnet boss John Still - as his mentor.

Allen said he could not wait to meet up with the experienced boss as the two sides relegated from League Two last season meet up again in the National League.

It will also be a strange game for Allen and his assistant Adrian Whitbread, who have strong links with the Bees and almost pulled off the great escape their last season.

Appointed for the last eight matches, the duo guided Barnet to five wins - including a 3-0 success over Chesterfield on the last day of the season - but they went down on goal difference.

Still was quickly appointed to his third spell in charge of the Bees after Allen and Whitbread left - and Allen has nothing but admiration and respect for the veteran manager.

“John Still is a brilliant manager. He always finds good young players. He always rebuilds teams and gets them to play.

“Over the years he has transformed his style of play. His teams always play good football. He was known in the past for long ball.

“He did a brilliant job at Luton Town. They are doing really well now. John Still was the man who put all that into place in the first place.

“I am really looking forward to meeting him. He has always been like a mentor for me when I first started out.

“All my friends at Barnet were so good to us at the end of last season.

“They got behind the team and it was so upsetting when we didn’t manage to finish above that white line/

“We had 5,000 people there on the last game of the season. It was a day I will never forget.”

Allen said was looking forward to seeing some of his old players at Barnet - after the match!

He said: “There is never going to be an easy game in this division. Some of the Barnet players I know very well.

“Some of them are very special to me personally because they are champions.

“After the game I hope I get the chance to see them all properly.

“But prior to the game we have to be totally focussed on our football club.

“After the game I will be the first to shake everybody’s hand and welcome everybody from Barnet.”

Barnet go into the match without a win in the five matches so far, while Chesterfield are looking to end a run of two successive defeats after three straight wins, but Whitbread insisted: “It will be a very tough game. There will be a lot of familiar faces coming up.

“Just because they have not picked up many points yet does not mean they are not a good team.

“The manager knows how to get teams promoted from this division and above, so it is going to be a very difficult game for us.”