Experienced midfielder Gareth Barry insists Manchester City’s FA Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic cannot be blamed on off-the-field distractions.
Ben Watson’s late header won the game for the Latics amid widespread speculation City boss Roberto Mancini will be replaced by Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini.
But Barry – whose misplaced pass led to Pablo Zabaleta being sent-off for a second bookable offence – believes the City players had only themselves to blame.
“We are professionals,” he told Sky Sports. “We can’t use something like that as an excuse.
“We have it not just before this game, but all this season and last season as well.
“What happened today has nothing to do with the speculation.
“We didn’t play our normal passing game, but sometimes that can happen at the end of the season.”
England international Barry – who could leave in the summer with his contract expiring in 12 months – also claimed Wigan’s performance was not a surprise to the Blues.
The Latics pressed City high up the pitch and dominated the possession for large periods and Barry believes they belied their lowly Premier League status.
“It was exactly the sort of game we expected really,” he said.
“We knew what sort of game Wigan play and on a pitch like this they can play their football, no matter what the situation is.
“They have got a fight at the bottom of the Premier League but they showed what a good team they are.”
However, the former Aston Villa man does not believe the loss will hurt City in the long term as long as the players learn from a disappointing season.
“We have had one of those days. It’ll make no difference to where this club wants to go,” he added.
“We have to learn from the season we have had and push on next season, raise it to another level.”
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