Barry: Chelsea clash 'biggest' game
Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has admitted Sunday's FA Cup semi-final match against Chelsea feels more like the final than just a shot at the showpiece event.
City take on the defending champions a day after Wigan play Championship side Millwall and Barry believes the winner of the clash between the two Premier League heavyweights will more than likely lift the trophy in May.
"It feels more like a final," Barry told The Sun. "This is the bigger game of the two and if we can get through it this could be another FA Cup for us.
"I am looking forward to it. You want to be playing big games at this stage of the season, as this is, when they hand out the trophies."
And the FA Cup represent City's last chance for silverware this season, knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, while the defence of their Premier League crown has faltered this campaign.
Second-placed City trails their arch-rivals, Manchester United, by 12 points heading into the final seven games of the season.
And even though the club's recent 2-1 win over their neighbours managed to halt United's march to their 20th league title for at least one week, Barry admitted the victory was a hollow one.
"To win at Old Trafford two years in a row sets a good standard for our club," he said. "The players were desperate to get three points and we would have been disappointed to get anything else, even a draw.
"To win for a second year running is a fantastic feeling.
"But there is some frustration that we haven't played like that more often.
"Even before the game kicked off, our players were thinking that we wished there was a little bit more at stake and the gap was a little bit closer."
However, the signs for a City resurgence next season are starting to appear, the victory over United coupled with the club re-signing a number of its stars - Yaya Toure prominent among them - has given the club hope of a more fruitful 2013/14 campaign.
Barry even admitting City had picked up a thing or two from the Red Devils.
"There are things we can learn from (Manchester United) - the fact that they have consistently got results this year without playing well. We need to try to do that ourselves next year," Barry said.
"(And) when a player like (Yaya Toure) gets a new deal, it is a lift for everyone.
"You don't want to see players like that leaving. You want others like him coming in.
"When you can keep players like him for another four years, I am sure there will be others coming in, of the same level, to join him."