Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry is hoping a return to the goal trail may hav
Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry is hoping a return to the goal trail may have helped end his England exile, despite admitting to being below his best in front of Sven Goran Eriksson.The England coach watched Barry, whose last cap came 27 months ago against Italy in Turin, in Sunday's Premiership clash with Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park.
He had an unspectacular game compared to recent performances but hit the target for the second successive match in Villa's 3-0 win.
Now Barry is hoping Eriksson will pick him for the friendly against Australia at Upton Park on February 12.
"I wasn't nervous that Mr Eriksson was there although maybe before the game you are slightly thinking about it," he said.
"Once you get out onto the pitch you do your normal job although I wouldn't say it was one of my better performances this season.
"I didn't feel involved as much as I have been recently but it was nice to get on the scoresheet again and that helps to make up for the performance.
"Scoring goals does get you into the headlines - and that's what I have been missing all season until the last two games.
"I hope I get back in [the England squad] because it was a goal I set for this season and if it happens it will have been a long time coming - more than two years.
"That is a long time in football and it can't come quick enough for me if I am called up."
Villa striker Dion Dublin added: "Gareth had a quieter game than normal but that's the way it goes when the England manager comes to see you.
"He has done brilliantly all season and in our last 10 games he's been man of the match in half of those matches.
"Apparently Eriksson left as soon as Gareth scored and hopefully that has made his mind up."
Sven names his squad for the Australia game on Saturday night, exclusively to TheFA.com.