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Barry targeting England return

Gareth Barry is hopeful of resurrecting his England career, despite missing out on a place in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

The Manchester City midfielder, 30, was forced to withdraw from Roy Hodgson's plans for Euro 2012 after suffering an abdominal injury and the same setback also saw him miss the first round of qualifiers last month.

But after fighting his way back into contention with City he is determined to do the same on the international stage, reassuring Hodgson he is keen to fight for his England place. "I have not spoken to the England manager, but I understand why I am not in it," Barry said. "My season hasn't really got going, and I am still getting over the injury.

"I am hopeful that if I can get a run in the team, and get some games together, I will be in the next squad. I am obviously disappointed because I want to play for my country but I am not ready to retire yet, and will just keep working hard. I am not going to say too much. I just want to work hard to get back.

"The injury came at the wrong time with the new manager coming in. It is tough sometimes to force your way back in - I have experienced it before. The manager is picking players he has called up, and relied on, during the summer and is probably thinking there is no need to oust them at the minute.

"It's just down to me to keep working hard, keep my place in the team and then force my way back in. Sometimes you need a bit of luck with injuries and so on, but I'm confident that when the call comes, the manager knows what I can do and I'm sure that if there's a space for me I will be called upon.''

Barry completed 90 minutes for City during their 3-0 Premier League win over Sunderland at the weekend, and says the absence of an international call has left him frustrated as he attempts to continue improving his fitness.

"We have a couple of days off now and then will be back to work on ticking over, and keeping the fitness up," he added. "It will be frustrating for me because I was looking forward to a run of games, and the international break has come at the wrong time. But it's about making sure we are fresh when the games come again."

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