Barry pride at leading England

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Gareth Barry insists the circumstances culminating in him leading England out as captain for the first time will not diminish his sense of pride.

The Manchester City player has been handed the armband for Tuesday's friendly international with Ghana after John Terry was released from the squad, along with four others, following the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on Saturday.

Barry did not even make the substitutes' bench in Cardiff but is the most experienced campaigner left in the squad, and said: "I'm well aware that there are a lot of players not here and, in different circumstances, I obviously wouldn't be captain. But, personally, I can't let that take it away from me. I'm going to be leading my country out."

He added: "As disappointed as I was on Saturday not to be playing, it's going to be a great honour to lead England out.

"It came as a surprise but this is just football.

"To find myself not involved at the weekend, and then a few days later to be told I'm going to lead the team out at Wembley, it sums up the game and how quickly things can change.

"I'm not shy about doing it. I had two or three great years at Aston Villa, leading the team out, and it does give you a good lift leading the 11 players out.

"It's something I'm looking forward to doing."

Barry broke into the Villa team as a 17-year-old central defender and learnt a lot about leadership by playing under and alongside Gareth Southgate.

He said: "Initially Gareth was a great leader for me. Being a young player at Aston Villa, he was certainly a great role model, someone I learned a lot off. At club level he was a great leader to learn off."

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John Terry
Manchester City
Gareth Barry
Premier League
Cardiff City
Gareth Southgate
Aston Villa

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