Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has stated that his side are confident going into the derby clash with Manchester United on Sunday, and that the win in Europe in midweek has buoyed the players.
Sergio Aguero scored in injury time to assure a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday night, and Roberto Mancini’s team now face an acid test against bitter rivals and Premier League champions United at the weekend.
Despite having to play the game at Old Trafford, the England international has the belief that the Etihad Stadium outfit can get three points.
“A last-minute goal can lift everyone – it is a massive confidence booster,” he told The Telegraph.
“We will just go into Sunday’s game, knowing it is a massive one, with a little bit more confidence. But it is not a place you can go and relax – we have got to go and play our best game of the season to get something out of it.
“We respect Manchester United and hopefully it will be a good game,” he continued.
Despite an excellent record domestically so far this term, City had not overly impressed in Europe, with a draw against Napoli and a loss away to Bayern Munich putting more pressure on them to get a result against Villarreal.
“We knew we really had to get the three points. We fought right to the end and you can’t really beat a last-minute winner, so it was a good feeling in the dressing room,” Barry said.
“It was similar to when we played Napoli at home. They are good in possession and counter attack quickly.
“We are still learning in the Champions League and it is such a tough group.
“This has lifted everyone. We knew three points were vital to go on and qualify from the group but this is just the start. It is a massive lift but we have just got to build on it,” he concluded.
By Gareth McKnight