Joleon Lescott has hailed the contribution of unsung hero Gareth Barry to the Manchester City cause this season.
In a largely spectacular campaign, the accolades have tended to be spread around David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Yaya Toure and, occasionally, Joe Hart. Yet Lescott is acutely aware none of the superstars would be able to perform without the tireless work of Barry, who claimed man-of-the-match accolades in last weekend's win over Arsenal before turning in another inspiring display against Stoke in midweek.
"Gareth has been immense for club and country," said Lescott. "He is one of those players you don't really appreciate until he's not there. He is just so consistent. You can't sing his praises enough. If you ask any of our midfielders who they most want to play with, their preference would be Gareth Barry."
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