Barry 'mentally ready' for England

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Football News

Gareth Barry insisted he is mentally in the right frame of mind for England's crunch World Cup qualifiers with Andorra and Croatia despite his summer of transfer turmoil.

The Aston Villa midfielder looked all set to complete a dream �18 million move to Liverpool this summer but that ambition was shattered when the Reds could not meet Villa's valuation of the 27-year-old player and had four bids rejected.

Barry put the saga to bed by issuing a statement 10 days ago when he pledged his future to Villa and insists he is now totally focused on England's games in Barcelona and Zagreb during the next six days. "I feel totally focused and mentally ready for these two games ahead. Of course, it was a difficult summer - a tough summer for myself," Barry said.

"It is the first time I've really experienced anything like that in my career, the first transfer I've been involved in after being at Villa more than ten years, but that is all in the past now.

"That is why I felt it was important I didn't wait until the last minute of the transfer window to make a statement which let everyone know where I was going to be.

"I made it ten days ago to try and end all the speculation and also to let everyone know my mind is focused on playing for Villa and, now more importantly, focusing on the upcoming games for England."

Barry was part of the England side beaten 3-2 by Croatia at Wembley in October which ended their hopes of qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals.

He knows it is important to remember the pain of that occasion and ensure England make a positive start to their bid to reach the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

"It is important that hurt from the Croatia game stays in the players' minds a little bit," Barry explained.

"We can't focus on it too much because it was a negative moment but that hurt will stay with players for a long time and it is important we learn from that."

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Gareth Barry
Aston Villa

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