Men's Team

Barry: 2012 team spirit among the best I experienced

Gareth Barry has described the City dressing room during our 2012 Premier League triumph as one of the best he experienced during his career.

The midfielder played an important role in claiming our first top flight title since 1968, featuring 44 times in all competitions as Roberto Mancini’s men pipped Manchester United to the post on the final day.

Eight points adrift in mid-April, an incredible run of six consecutive wins to the end of the season were enough to see Barry and co. snatch the Premier League crown.

And the former England international has hailed the impact that City’s team spirit had in that historic success.

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“The dressing room was huge that season,” Barry explained.

“The team was pretty settled for the last six games, but the moments that the lads had previously to that were huge and the dressing room was really together.

“It was one of the best I played in throughout my career. There were ups and downs but there was never too much bickering going on and we were really together.

“There were some big characters in there, we all stuck together and we needed to that year.”

93:20 | Gareth Barry extended interview

With United having dropped points against Wigan and Everton, in the preceding weeks, City regained top spot with just two matches of the season remaining following a hard-fought Manchester derby victory.

Vincent Kompany’s header on the stroke of half-time was enough to move Mancini’s men top by virtue of goal difference in a match where City dominated from start to finish.

And Barry, who made over 700 professional appearances across a storied 22-year playing career, says the noise at the Etihad Stadium that night was unparalleled.

He said; “That for me is the best atmosphere I’ve played in. It was electric, a night game, we knew if we beat them, it was in our own hands.

“(United were) the big scalp we needed and if we won that we’d probably be expected to go on and win the title.

“For me the defensive performance was incredible, United were possibly playing for a draw but we were pressing and didn’t give them space at all.

“Mancini’s tactics were spot on. We were surprised really, the United way especially in that era wasn’t to sit back. It did feel that the way we set up stopped them from attacking. They very rarely had any chance on goal.

“The fans played their part, got right behind the team and the noise levels were something I hadn’t felt on the pitch before.”

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