Football

Barry relishing England role 

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Gareth Barry feels England are reaping the benefits of having a settled midfield combination and is relishing the deeper role he plays on the international stage compared to club level.

Barry and Frank Lampard are working up an understanding as the central duo while Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney are interchanging effectively with one of them filling in the 'hole' as the second striker.

"The more we do play together, that midfield, the more we are going to get used to the role," said Barry. "Steven and Wayne are mixing in and out, they are linking up well, and myself and Frank are working as a two in the middle, so the more we keep playing together the better."

Manchester City's new £12 million capture is aware England will have sterner tests ahead than the 4-0 win over Kazakhstan in Almaty on Saturday which took them closer to the 2010 World Cup finals.

But the ex-Aston Villa player, who scored his first competitive goal for his country, is taking encouragement from how things are starting to gel and England's ability to win when not firing on all cylinders.

He added: "Does my role suit my game? I think so. International football is slightly different to the Premier League and that deeper role probably does suit me a little bit more.

"They are always tough games, so you don't get as much space as you like, but the second half against Kazakhstan opened up and gave me a bit more.

"When you are winning games, you do gain confidence and you do become settled. It is all about keeping the run going throughout the campaign and taking it from there."

Barry put the seal on a hectic week in which he ended his 12-year spell at Aston Villa and made the move to Eastlands. The only downside was collecting a second yellow card of the campaign which rules him out of Wednesday's clash with Andorra at Wembley.

Barry said: "It was nice to finish off the season with a goal. I was disappointed to get a second booking so I'll miss Wednesday but to finish my summer with a goal and three points, is a good way to finish."

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Gareth Barry
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Aston Villa

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