Barry: City must beat lesser teams

Midfielder Gareth Barry believes Manchester City must be more
ruthless against lesser teams in their quest for a top-four finish.

City boast an impressive record against the teams at the peak
of the Premier League this season – only losing one of their six
clashes with the so-called big four.

Most recently, Roberto Mancini’s men were boosted by a 4-2
win at Chelsea, which completed a league double over the West
London side.

However, Barry admits that it’s the team’s habit of dropping
points against opposition at the other end of the table that needs
to be stamped out.

“If you assess our performances against the top four we would
be up there in a mini league table but any team that finishes in
the top four has to perform against the teams in the bottom half as
well,” Barry told the Manchester Evening News.

The fifth-placed side have the chance to improve their record
on Sunday when they travel to face a Sunderland outfit just six
points above the drop zone.

The Black Cats returned to winning ways with a 4-0 victory
over Bolton in midweek but it was only a second win in 19 league
games for Steve Bruce’s side.

Barry, though, knows that these games have proved to be a
stumbling block for City in the past, and the England international
is keen to prevent that being the story of their season.

“Three points are massive in the Premier League and we need
to keep collecting them,” said Barry.

“I’m not sure why we haven’t done it against lesser teams.

“Earlier in the season, we had a slump where we failed to win
four or five games in a row which we should have won.

“Hopefully, we can put that right before the end of the
season, which is the vital part.”