Date: 18th February 2008 at 3:42pm
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Gareth Barry has picked the best cliche in football to prove a point, we must take each game as it comes and not get too carried away.

The first team are gearing up for the final 12 games of the season and we are well placed to exceed our expectations for this season, but Barry has spoken out on the official site and wants the squad to be aware of the mistakes that happen when they take their foot off the pedal.

‘We learnt a lot from the Fulham performance about taking one game at a time, because we probably thought about that (fourth spot) too much.

‘Fourth spot was up for grabs and we knew three points would take us there, but it was probably in our heads too much.

‘You can easily get complacent and we’ve got a lot of young players who haven’t been up there in fourth spot before, so sometimes it’s hard to take.’

The captain was however thrilled with the Newcastle match, both for the result and for the second half performance that the team put in.

‘That’s why the Newcastle game was such a big one for us – they work hard as a team and for their manager, and Villa were an opportunity for them.

‘But in the second half all the lads deserve credit because we kept going and we knew once we got one, we’d go on to win it.’

Barry also believes it was the perfect response to those that thought Fulham signalled the end of our season, or believed that our bubble had burst and we would slip down the table.

‘The message wasn’t really about making fourth spot, it was about a response to the Fulham defeat. There was talk that Villa would fall away after a disappointing result. But we bounced back against Newcastle and showed we will keep going all the way.’

Barry himself is dying to get going again after this immense break, and hopefully everyone should be recharged and raring to go.

‘I think we’ll take this season and see where it takes us. We’ll take it a game at a time, but if we find ourselves in a European spot at the end of the season and that brings European football to Villa Park, then I’m sure the manager will have to look down that road.

‘We’ve got to all pull together and try to finish in that European spot, and as the manager says, if we’re there, he’ll have to go into the transfer market and look towards it. Fingers crossed, that’s going to happen because that’s where we want to be.’

I’m still pretty convinced that we will make Europe now, I thought we might sneak last spot but without getting too carried away with our run in, it’s hard not to view the last spot as the least we will take.

If it doesn’t happen then you know full well the mistakes will be learnt from. We’ve already got the second chance option of the Intertwobob in place so it’s cross your fingers time, and hope that for 12 games we can actually play 90 minutes each game, and not 45.