Barry eager to start winning

BY foxsports • February 2, 2011

After clambering their way into Premier League title contention, City suffered a major setback at Aston Villa 11 days ago. It leaves the Blues knowing they can ill afford further slip-ups if they are to exert meaningful pressure on their championship rivals. And that means overcoming a side that has lost just twice on home soil this season and last week booked their place in the Carling Cup final. "After a defeat, it is always important to start winning again really quickly," said Barry. "We are chomping at the bit to get back into the Premier League at St Andrew's and get another three points. "We can't afford to lose more ground because before we know it we will start to slip down the table, so it is a massive game for us." Yet even Barry's words show how far City have come in the past two-and-a-half years. Just to be talking about losing ground on the league leaders is a quantum leap away from the repeated frustrations of the Thaksin Shinawatra era, which in itself was supposed to herald a new dawn for a club who have so often failed to match the lofty expectations that surround them. "It is important that we do keep looking up," said Barry. "There are some great teams around us that are starting to put runs together, so we have to do it too. "We want to try and hang on until the death." It is a philosophy shared by manager Roberto Mancini, who is set to recall a number of key players, including skipper Carlos Tevez, playmaker David Silva and midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong. Yet winning against Alex McLeish's side is something the Blues failed to achieve at Eastlands earlier in the season. On that occasion Mancini was condemned for his negative substitutions during a drab goalless draw and received the full brunt of the frustration in the stands. Since then though, City have collected 23 points from a possible 33, and, with last summer's arrivals now properly bedded in and Edin Dzeko's £27million transfer-window purchase from Wolfsburg adding further strength, Mancini feels Birmingham will encounter a far better team than the one they frustrated a couple of months ago. "The team has improved a lot since November," said Mancini. "We can win on Wednesday, but we must play well because it will be a different game to the last one."

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