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We're peaking at the right time, says Gareth

Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry reckons that City have hit peak form at just the perfect time in the season.

The Blues are approaching Saturday's sell-out home derby having knocked in 14 goals in the course of three straight wins that have lifted them into fourth place in the table.

Last June's signing of the England international was the first of a host of big-name buys, and the former Villa man thinks that the benefits of a revamped and experienced squad are showing themselves at just the right time.

"It was always going to be tough at the start," says Gareth, "it was never going to happen overnight no matter who we signed. We have top class players in the dressing room, and I think it's showing now that we are playing so well together.

We've gelled as a squad at the right time and we're hitting the right notes just when we need to. We're finishing the season strongly, and we'll want to carry on at the start of next season in the same sort of form.

Gareth Barry

 

Roberto Mancini has a few options to consider for the weekend, with Pablo Zabaleta back from suspension and no new injuries to contend with from the win over Birmingham. For Gareth, the squad's form and availability are just what's needed with five games of the campaign to go.

"At the end of the season you do need as many people fit as you can because it's such a long season," he adds. "You need guys to be at the top of their games and the Manager needs a full squad to choose from. We've got a few players coming back and the Manager has a bit of a headache when it comes to selection, which is perfect for this stage of the season.

"Having the one game a week is ideal for the Manager. We're putting it in during training, we're getting the rewards during the games, and we're getting the rest between games as well as the Manager having the time to prepare. We'd have loved to have been in cup competitions, playing two games a week, but because we're not it's really benefitting us at the moment."

Gareth was rested for the first of City's current three-game winning streak, but he says that he and the whole squad appreciate careful handling with such a crucial phase of the season about to start.

"No-one wants to be out of the side, and I'm always disappointed if I'm not picked," he admits, "but after the two games where I've been rested my form has really picked up. You have to be experienced and realise that every now and again you have to take a back seat.

"It benefits you and the team, which is the most important thing. It's a squad thing nowadays, especially in the Premier League because of the pace of the game."

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