Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry will be aiming to extend Liverpool's six-year trophy drought by helping his side overturn their 1-0 first leg deficit in tonight's Carling Cup semi-final second leg clash at Anfield.

The 30-year-old England international returns to a club he almost joined back in 2008, after being identified by former Reds boss Rafa Benitez as his chosen replacement for the departing Xabi Alonso.

However, Liverpool fans reacted angrily to those transfer plans, and after a bout of terrace abuse, Barry's Merseyside move was eventually scuppered. A year later he made his switch to the Etihad Stadium, and has never looked back since.

"I remember when the transfer saga was going on, I was watching a Liverpool friendly [against Lazio at Anfield] and the home fans were singing, 'You can stick your Gareth Barry up your ----'," he recalled in the Daily Telegraph. "I was at home, but I could just hear it vaguely. That might have got into my head a little bit.

"Liverpool were still interested when I decided to join City [in 2009]. I thought about it really hard, but the things the club were talking about, I felt City were on the up, whereas Liverpool were maybe finding it a bit tougher than City.

"It wasn't an easy decision. I was signing [for City] on promises being made really and, in football, promises get made all the time.

"They can backfire and people can end up saying they made the wrong decision. But sitting here now, I think it has been a very good decision."

Barry was a key figure as City ended their 35-year wait for a major trophy by winning the FA Cup last season, and as attention now turns to tonight's encounter, he is confident of helping the club to further success this campaign.

"Four years on, people say to me that I've made the right decision joining City," he added. "Obviously Liverpool is a fantastic club with a great following but I won the FA Cup last year and I've played in the Champions League this season.

"We were very disappointed with our performance at home but we're good enough to go to Anfield and turn it round.

"With us being a goal behind and playing away from home, we can go there and play good football and maybe the pressure will be on them a little bit more.

"It will definitely help the confidence inside the club if we win a cup midway through the season. We're desperate to win the League Cup."

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Gareth Barry