Date: 16th March 2007 at 2:22pm
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Gareth Barry is hoping to stay in contention for England in the Euro 2008 qualifiers v Israel and Andorra. With Wayne Bridge injured and Ashley Cole suspended his name must surely be on the team sheet?

The squad is named tomorrow and our 26-year-old left sided midfielder/left-back said:

‘It’s a tough one for me. I am hopeful. It is a tough situation. We have not had many games at Villa since the Spain match – only two in four or five weeks. Whether the manager and coaches will go on my previous form, I don’t know.’

‘I am hopeful and it’s a case of fingers crossed. But if I was left out, it would be a strange one to deal with having just got back into the squad and then finding yourself left out again.’

Adding, ‘Competition is fierce. They are big games for the England team. They are games I want to be involved in. There are no Wayne Bridge and Ashley Cole and I played the last 15 minutes at left-back against Spain, so it is an option for the manager. Hopefully something like that can work in my favour and the chance does arise. I am very much up for it.’

The Villa skipper also says he has a lot he can learn from Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard explaining:

‘He inspires their team week in and week out. He is a world class player. It is always good playing against these sort of players and he is certainly one of the best at the moment. He is an influential leader for Liverpool and any captain in the country can look to him and see how he inspires their team week in and week out.’

‘There is a lot to learn from a player like that. I believe it certainly helps being in midfield when you are captain because you can drive the team on that from that position. It is an easier role from where to try and inspire your team-mates.’

Gerrard, Lampard, etc etc we are always told are world class, makes you wonder why they are so shite when England get to Euro and World Cup finals doesn’t it!? 😉


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