Gareth Barry has been an unsung hero for Manchester City this season, and will be an integral part of the club's hopes of winning the Barclays Premier League title says Joleon Lescott.

The 30-year-old midfielder has earned praise from a number of his teammates in a bid to give the England international the recognition he so greatly deserves.

The likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure have filled numerous column inches as the leading lights of Roberto Mancini's star-studded line-up this season, but Barry is just as valuable to City's search for success.

"Gareth has been immense for club and country," Lescott told City TV. "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."

Lescott says that Barry's committed and equally composed performances are simply par for the course in his career, as the former Aston Villa man continues to fight off the ever-increasing competition for a place in the Citizens' side.

"He hasn't changed anything [in the way he plays]," added the defender. "He believes in himself and just carried on with his own consistent performances.

"You need people like Gareth to balance defence and attack."

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#Manchester City
#Gareth Barry
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#Joleon Lescott