Olof Mellberg believes being made captain of Aston Villa could inspire midfielder Gareth Barry to achieve "another level" of performance.

Central defender Mellberg relinquished the skipper´s armband in the summer after three years and has been replaced by 25-year-old Barry in the role.

Mellberg, who has also quit as captain of Sweden, told PA Sport: "Captaincy sometimes brings the best out of players and it could take Gareth to another level. That´s certainly how I felt both with Sweden and Villa when I got the captaincy. It gave me a massive lift and it has been the same with Gareth."

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