Stone calls for calm at Barnet

Up for the challenge: Michael Stone

Up for the challenge: Michael Stone

First-team coach Michael Stone admits that he is facing the biggest challenge of his career with strugglers Barnet.

Stone, 32, has been retained by the club who sacked manager Mark Stimson following the 2-1 defeat at home to Aldershot on New Year's day.

The Bees lie bottom of the table with 19 points from 23 games and Stone will now work alongside caretaker-manager Paul Fairclough and continue
his role with individual player
development.

Stone said: "We didn't expect to be in this position going into the new year. It's never nice to see someone get sacked but at the same time, Paul was the person responsible for bringing me to the club so I'm trying to look forward, not back.

I’m right in the thick of things, which I enjoy

"It's up to Paul and myself to get the team up for the challenge. We're working harder than ever to ensure that we get more points.

"It's definitely the biggest challenge of my career but I'm right in the thick of things which I enjoy. It's during these tough periods that you build up your mechanisms to deal with the pressure and I'm enjoying the challenge."

Stone joined the club last summer when he and Stimson attempted to rebuild the squad with only four players retained. A poor run has seen them record only five league victories all season but Stone is urging fans to stay behind the team.

"Now we have a squad," he said. "We need to find consistency of performance. The message to supporters is don't panic. The team needs them now more than ever. We're in for a run of tough games but I'm confident that we will be OK if we can add to the squad. We are doing everything we possibly can behind the scenes.

"The challenge now is to see how we can climb the table and to see who we can bring in during the transfer window."

    Last updated: 11:29am, January 7 2011