Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday August 6 2007
Gareth Barry has warned everyone not to get too carried away with our friendly victory over Inter Milan saying we won't be playing them in the Champions League and that dream is some way off for us.
The Villa captain told the official site:
'We are not used to beating Inter but it is a nice little experience and is where big clubs like us want to head. The club is moving forward a lot under the manager and the chairman Randy Lerner but I realise things aren't going to happen overnight. We are not going to be playing the Inter Milans this year, probably not next year and it is a big ask for the season after.'
Good to see Barry being a realist, but would he feel the same way if Martin O'Neill had acted more decisively in the transfer window like all fans, pundits and players expected? As far as I can see, fourth spot is up for grabs, a massive ask but there is no reason we shouldn't see Villa pushing to be in the mix, we have the resources and infrastructure now.
He added, 'You only need to look at our squad on the back of the programme to see how lightweight we are but there's three weeks to go until the transfer window closes and the manager is working hard to get players in. Hopefully, this year the manager will make a few more steps in the transfer market as our aim is to finish as high as possible. That's what we all want at the club and it would certainly help my England claims, as if the team are doing very well it gives you that 20 per cent extra chance of international recognition.'
Meanwhile Inter's goalkeeper, who saved the score line against them being worse, Julio Cesar said after the 3-0 drubbing:
'We were tired and our legs were hurting, but we tried to score right until the final minute so it's fine like this.'
Must admit, I didn't see them have one meaningful shot on target?
Adding, 'This is how we should interpret these pre-season friendlies. I didn't see a bad Inter or a bad performance. We were just lacking a bit of lucidity and the strength to counter a more in-form opponent in the decisive moments. But we had our chances and we could have equalised at the end of the first half. These things don't count at this stage of the season.'
'Our performance today was certainly influenced by logistical aspects like the trip by coach, the quick lunch and the tiredness after a very early start following yesterday's very tough day of training.' Finishing 'It was a good training session for me, a good test. I made lots of nice saves.'
Date:Monday August 6 2007
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