Sport : Football

Barry: I need to play

3rd September 2013, 02:10pm

Gareth Barry: Has joined Everton on a season-long loan

Gareth Barry: Has joined Everton on a season-long loan

Gareth Barry says the need to play regularly was behind his desire to join Eevrton on a season-long loan.

Barry's contract with City, who he joined from Aston Villa in 2009, comes to an end next summer and he had been told by the Etihad Stadium outfit that he could not be guaranteed first-team football in the 2013-14 campaign.

Speaking at press conference to announce his arrival at Goodison Park, the England international said: "It was important for me to make that decision - whether I was happy to see out my last year at Manchester City and not really feature at all.

"That was never something I was going to be comfortable with I think.

"I have been lucky enough to play regularly throughout my career.

"So I want to try to establish myself in the first team here, get a regular spot in the team and try to get a consistent run of games and good form together.

"Virtually straight away at the end of the season and at the start of pre-season it was made clear that I wasn't going to be guaranteed regular first-team football (at City).

"Being 32 in a big squad with a lot of players, I could have dealt with that.

"But as pre-season went on and then the first games came, it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to feature in squads and that I was going to have to wait for a couple of injuries.

"So that's when I started thinking it could be time to start looking elsewhere for regular football."

A permanent move next summer cannot be ruled out, and he believes a push for the top four this season is a realistic aim for the club, who finished sixth last term.

Barry, not involved at all in City's opening three games this season, added: "Obviously if anyone is told they are not wanted or you are not going to feature you are going to be disappointed.

"I was no different because the bottom line is that I would have backed myself to impress the manager and taken the chance if that had come this season.

"But once it is made clear that those opportunities are not going to arise, then you know as a footballer of experience that you have to try to move on.

"So I got my head around that and I'm grateful now to be at Everton.''

Barry has spoken of his admiration for the style in which Everton boss Roberto Martinez's teams play, as well as the history of the Toffees and the atmosphere generated by their fans at Goodison Park.

And he has also stressed that for now, his focus is very much on the Merseyside club, with the prospect of playing his way back into the England squad ahead of next summer's World Cup being viewed at this point merely as a "bonus''.

"I think firstly, my head has been all about me wanting to play regular football in the Premier League,'' said Barry, who has 53 international caps and last played for England in May 2012.

"It is not the main reason why I've joined Everton - to try to help my England ambitions.

"That will come if I'm playing consistently well for Everton, and at the moment, it would be a bonus. Getting good form for Everton is my main target.''

He was one of three new Everton signings confirmed on deadline day, with Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku also arriving on a season-long loan and midfielder James McCarthy being recruited on a permanent deal from Martinez's former club Wigan.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini left to sign for Manchester United, while forward Victor Anichebe moved on to join West Brom.


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