Football

Barry keeps complacency at bay

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Midfielder Gareth Barry is adamant England will not take their World Cup qualifier against Ukraine lightly despite cruising to a 4-0 friendly win over Slovakia on Saturday.

Barry had a quiet evening at Wembley playing the anchor role against a Slovakia side who were overrun by a confident England team. And while the Aston Villa man admits it was nice to be part of such a fluid performance in front of the home fans, he is keen to point out that the stakes are different when World Cup qualification points are on offer against Ukraine on Wednesday.

"There have been a few comments made about our home form and there's not been a performance for a while so to score four goals and play some good attractive football was good," said Barry. "The players all seemed to perform pretty well and the movement and passing was very good against Slovakia."

He added: "It's all about instilling confident back in the players. Everyone knows we have world-class players and everyone knows we can match anyone on our day.

"The 100% start in the group is brilliant and it has set the group up nicely for us but there are tough games still to go, starting on Wednesday. It's the first test of many to come and we're not taking our foot off the gas.

"We're expecting a completely different game, it's a competitive match and we have to show Ukraine a lot of respect."

The only downside to the weekend win over Slovakia were the injuries to strikers Emile Heskey, Carlton Cole and Peter Crouch.

Heskey and Cole have been withdrawn from the squad, with Darren Bent taking Cole's place, but Barry believes Fabio Capello has plenty of pedigree at his disposal.

"It was very strange what happened with the injuries, especially with two or three in the same position," he added.

"But we still have good quality options up there. Hopefully Wayne Rooney can stay fit and Darren has been called up. There are loads of options, you're not going to be in the England squad if you are not a top player. It's up to the manager who plays but whoever is picked is more than good enough."

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Topics:
Carlton Cole
Football
Gareth Barry
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Peter Crouch
Wayne Rooney
Aston Villa
Darren Bent

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