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Currie relishing Brentford challenge

By Matt Badcock, 

PICTURES with the FA Cup, TV cameras, interview with a former team-mate and a curry dish named after you – it’s surprising Darren Currie had time to be appointed permanent Barnet manager last week.

But amid all the hullabaloo that comes with a big FA Cup fourth round tie, the 44-year-old was given the Bees’ reins permanently.

He’d spent the last month as caretaker following John Still’s decision to retire from management and move upstairs.
Currie was a protégé of Still but soon after the legendary boss’ Hive departure had been announced – to return to the dug-out at Maidstone United – Currie got the gig.

“Now the pressure is on!” Currie joked. “It’s all been positive. We had a little blip last weekend (4-0 loss against Braintee), which was uncomfortable for everyone, but as a whole it’s good. It was four weeks on Friday – it feels like a lifetime but it’s only four weeks old, at the minute.

“But I’ve enjoyed it and the players are responding brilliantly to what I’m asking them to do. Long may that continue.

“I’ve been around football a long time. I know a week is a long time in football, I know how it works and it hasn’t been long in the job.

Courage 

“I want to enjoy the job but there’s only one way of enjoying it and that’s by winning games. I know the pressure that brings but I’m ready for it.”

That defeat to Braintree aside it’s been a good start for Currie, not least the third round win at Championship high-flyers Sheffield United.

That has set-up tonight’s live TV clash with Brentford and Currie wants his side to show similar bravery as at Bramall Lane.

“It was a really incredible day,” Currie said. “They took on the gameplan we asked them to. They played with the bravery and courage I asked them to do.

“I was actually quite calm on the touchline. It was a real pleasure standing there watching them play the way they played.

“It was, obviously, wonderful to win the game but if we’d played that way and not won the game I would have still been very proud of them because they played very well.

“It’s nothing to fear – nothing to fear. At the end of the day, a lot of these boys want to play in the Championship one day.

“So here is your opportunity to prove, not only to everyone else, but to yourself that you can do it.

“I said at Sheffield United, ‘After ten or 15 minutes, you’ll start to realise there’s nothing to fear. Go and be yourself’.

They embraced that challenge and I really hope they do that on Monday.”

It will be down to business then but the week leading up to the game allowed for some enjoyment.

His former Chesterfield team-mate turned journalist Gregor Robertson popped by for an article and National League sponsors Vanarama teamed up with local Indian restaurant Shapla to come up with the ‘Darren’ curry.

The man known as Ruby throughout a successful playing career in the Football League says his players have to savour these moments.

“It’s a very different week,” he said. “There have been cameras, interviews, the boys are getting a little bit more exposure. We had the FA Cup here at the beginning of the week that they were all getting photos with.

“It’s very different to a typical week but, nevertheless, it’s been an enjoyable one and they’ve earned the right to have this type of week.

“I’m all for enjoying moments like this because you have to enjoy the best parts of football. They can be few and far between.”

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