VIDEO: Barry’s battle
By Nicholas Veevers
Thursday, 24 March, 2011
Midfielder prepared to fight for his place in the team.
Click here for video of the press conference.
Having been a regular in the England midfield throughout Fabio Capello’s reign in charge, Gareth Barry admits he now faces a real battle to earn a place in the team.
Not that the Manchester City ace is complaining though, as the emergence of Jack Wilshere and James Milner over the last 12 months has only strengthened Capello’s selection options.
“There’s a few of us vying for places, myself, Scotty Parker, Jack and Frank Lampard too, so we have good choices in there,” said Barry ahead of the weekend trip to Wales.
“All four of us are slightly different players, so the Manager has got a few options when it comes to central midfield and if he wants to change it then he has got the players to do it.
“I’ve never come to an England squad and expected to be in the team. When players burst onto the scene like Jack and James, it’s extra competition.
“I’m still training hard and hoping to be selected but it’s good for England that players are coming through and making it harder to keep your place.”
Saturday’s game sees England in competitive action for the first time in nearly six months, as Capello’s team bid to return to the top of their qualifying group with a win in Wales.
After drawing their last game in the group with Montenegro last October, Barry believes it’s now time to get back to winning ways for the Three Lions.
“We were disappointed in slipping up at home to Montenegro but they’ve proved that they are a tough team to beat,” he added.
“And if it’s in your own hands then you’re always comfortable with that. We go to Wales and are confident we can get the three points and we’re still in a good position.
“If we don’t come away with three points, the squad as always will be very disappointed so it’s important to go there and put in a good performance.”
It will be the 30-year-old’s first taste of an international derby game with the Welsh too, having not been involved in the last meeting in 2005 so it’s certainly one that he is anticipating now as Saturday gets ever closer.
“I’m really looking forward to the game, they don’t come around very often,” he said. “The two teams know each other well so it will be close to the sort of Premier League games we play week-in and week-out.
“There will be a full house and I’m expecting a very good game.”