Manchester City’s Gareth Barry eager to ‘get season going’ and force himself into Roy Hodgson’s England squad

By Dean Wilkins

Manchester City’s Gareth Barry is ready to get his season going and force his way back into the England squad.

The 31-year-old holding midfielder was not chosen for the Euro 2012 squad after suffering with an abdominal injury and has only just returned to club action with the Blues.

And after seeing his name omitted from Roy Hodgson’s World Cup qualifier double header against Poland and San Marino this month Barry wants to battle back.

“I have not spoken to the England manager, but I understand why I am not in it,” said the former Aston Villa ace. “My season hasn’t really got going, and I am still getting over the injury.

“I’m hopeful that if I can get a run in the team, and get some games together, I will be in the next squad.

“I’m disappointed because I want to play for my country but I am not ready to retire yet, and will just keep working hard.

And it was a double blow for Barry missing out on the summer competition as it was just after Hodgson was put in charge of England – an inconvenient time to be injured.

“The injury came at the wrong time with the new manager coming in,” he added. “It is tough sometimes to force your way back in, but I have experienced it before.

“The manager is picking players he has called up, and relied on, during the summer and is probably thinking there is no need to oust them at the minute.

“It’s just down to me to keep working hard, keep my place in the team and then force my way back in.

“Sometimes you need a bit of luck with injuries and so on, but I’m confident that when the call comes, the manager knows what I can do and I’m sure that if there’s a space for me I will be called upon.”

And after playing an important 90 minutes for the Premier League champions during their 3-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday – their first clean sheet of the season – Barry will improve his fitness during the international break.

He said: “We have a couple of days off now and then will be back to work on ticking over, and keeping the fitness up.

“It will be frustrating for me because I was looking forward to a run of games, and the international break has come at the wrong time.

“But it’s about making sure we are fresh when the games come again.”

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