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Preview: A look ahead to Saturday's game against Barnet

12 January 2018

While Reds occupy a lofty fourth place in the League 2 form table, Barnet are 21st based on their form in the last six games. They have lost five of those, but did beat Morecambe 2-1. Since then they have lost to Cheltenham, Cambridge United, Exeter City and Swindon.

With more than 900 games under his belt, there are few managers in the EFL with more experience than Bees’ boss Mark McGhee. The former Scotland international had a brilliant playing career, winning European and domestic honours under Sir Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen. He had two successful spells with Newcastle United and also played for Hamburg, Celtic and Reading, making nearly 500 career appearances and scoring 189 goals. He won four Scotland caps and scored against England in a 1-1 draw at Hampden Park in May 1984. His managerial career started at Reading in 1991. He subsequently had spells in charge of Leicester City, Millwall, Newcastle United and Brighton, whom he led to the Championship in 2004. He then took charge of Aberdeen and Motherwell and had a brief spell with Bristol Rovers before he was appointed assistant to Gordon Strachan when his former Aberdeen team-mate took charge of the Scotland national team in 2013. After two years he returned for a second spell as Motherwell manager. In total, McGhee has managed 962 competitive games with a win ratio of 38%.

John Akinde failed to do his talent justice during his two years with Reds, although the striker can certainly claim that he didn’t get too many opportunities to impress. Since signing for Barnet in 2014 from Alfreton Town, the striker has gone on to score 81 goals in 145 games for the club in all competitions, making him a fans’ favourite in the process. Last season he won the Golden Boot for League Two after netting 26 goals in 46 games. John played for Reds in the 2011-12 season, scoring his only goal for the club at Shrewsbury Town.

Barnet have Jamie Stephens (hamstring), Harry Taylor (metatarsal), Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (knee) out of contention tomorrow while Elliott Johnson (knee) and Dave Tarpey (knee) are both out with long-term injuries

Reds have no fresh injury concerns but midfielder Josh Payne serves the second game of his three-match ban against Barnet.

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