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Season 2010/11

Barry backing young teammates

  • 01 September 2010 15:14
  • Posted by Chris Bailey

Gareth Barry has backed Blues teammate Adam Johnson to be a big hit in the Euro qualifiers starting on Friday.

The midfielder, the senior member of the six-strong Blues contingent on duty for the back-to-back games against Bulgaria and Switzerland, reckons Johnson has done nothing but improve since he moved from Middlesbrough less than a year ago.

“Adam could make his mark. He joined us in the middle of last season and came into the team full of confidence. He hasn’t stopped. He has kept improving,” praised Barry.

The more he plays at this level, the better he will become

...Gareth Barry

"Hopefully he can get a good run of games. I am confident if he does, his game will improve.”

Barry has similar belief in City colleague Joe Hart who is likely to start his first competitive game for the Three Lions at Wembley on Friday night.

“Joe’s confidence is sky-high at the moment,” he continued.

“He is performing very well for us at City. It is the same as Adam, if he gets a run of games at this level he will go from strength to strength. I have every confidence in him doing a great job for England for years to come.”

With the changes in the make-up of the England squad following the World Cup, and a spate of injuries, Barry is one of the senior players in the party and accepts he feels an additional responsibility especially after the failures in South Africa.

“I am as hungry to be involved as ever,” said Barry. “I want to stay in this set-up and stay around for as long as possible. I want to try and get as many caps as I can and hopefully have some success with England too. I am looking forward to these two games.

“I do feel extra responsibility. There is always responsibility with England. As an experienced member of the squad I have to recognise there are a lot of young players here who are going to need help at times.

“The lessons that we have learned from the World Cup have to be used to try and help the young players and the team going forward.”

*Illness has forced Micah Richards out of the England under 21 squad to face Portugal in Braga on Friday evening.

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