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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 29, 2008

Barry focused on England not club speculation

Aston Villa skipper Gareth Barry is putting his own future on the back-burner until after England's final game of the campaign away to Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.

Barry, a target for Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, has already held one round of talks with Villa manager Martin O'Neill and club owner Randy Lerner with more set to take place in the near future.

The 27-year-old, who set up the second goal for possible future club team-mate Steven Gerrard in England's 2-0 win over the United States, is flattered by the Reds' interest.

But Barry is content to focus on England for the next few days - he is a strong candidate to skipper the side in Trinidad - before matters come to a head.

Barry said: 'Will I be at Villa next season? That is something I've been speaking to the manager and chairman about. We've already had one meeting.

'My idea was to get these two games out of the way and I am sure we will be speaking again soon.

'Any sort of interest by a big club is flattering but I am still an Aston Villa player, I've got two years left of my contract and until some sort of bid is accepted, or the manager tells me otherwise, there is no decision to make.

'No decision has been made because no bid has been accepted.'

Barry shrugged off the disappointment of not starting the game to produce a slide-rule pass for Gerrard's cool finish after John Terry had opened the scoring.

He said: 'I thought it was very comfortable. We played high tempo of football and didn't really let them create too much and scored two good goals as well, so overall everyone was quite happy with the performance.

'You want to start every game. We all know the manager is trying and looking at different things so I am not too upset. Hopefully I can go across to Trinidad and play some more minutes over there.

'It was nice to get involved straight away, get involved with the goal, so overall I was not too disappointed with with not starting the game.'

Gerrard hailed the character of central defender Terry as he bounced back from his Champions League final misery.

Terry had been in the depths of despair a week ago after missing the spot-kick for Chelsea which would have given them victory over Manchester United in the final in Moscow.

Terry had already received a tonic by reclaiming the captaincy against the US and he followed it up by scoring the opening goal in England's 2-0 success with a powerful header from a David Beckham free-kick.

Gerrard said: 'I am so pleased for John Terry. He is a top guy off the pitch and also a great player on it. He is a fantastic footballer.

'Unfortunately for him, he suffered a big low in his career with what happened in Moscow last week. But we always knew he was going to bounce back. That is the type of fantastic character that he is.

'He showed once again that he is a fantastic leader. He has done it so many times.'

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