BARRY BACKS TINKER MAN!
Tactics boost for Roberto’s Plan B
GARETH BARRY insists the critics are wrong to question Roberto Mancini’s tactics despite Man City’s patchy opening to the campaign.
The Italian manager has come under fire this season due to City’s slack start, which has seen their defence look ragged and left their Champions League hopes in tatters after just three group games.
Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott both admitted they were struggling to get to grips with Mancini’s three-man backline after the 3-1 defeat to Ajax.
But City responded to the Amsterdam inquest with a clean sheet in the 1-0 victory over Swansea at the weekend.
And England midfielder Barry, 31, says the players have to get to grips with different systems and points out that Mancini’s tinkering has already paid off this term.
Barry said: “I missed the whole pre-season with my operation. The lads said they worked on three at the back, as the manager wanted it as a Plan B.
“The players didn’t seem to be overly-confident playing it. If the manager wants to go with it you have to do your best and respect it.
“When results don’t go right these things get picked up on. At the other end he made an attacking decision at West Brom and Edin Dzeko came on and scored two goals.
“You expect these things to come out when things go badly but we have to stick together. We started that on Saturday with a clean sheet and three points.”
Barry admits that the start of the season has been a slog for the Premier League champions.
Mancini’s side are unbeaten in the league and sit third after four straight wins.
Barry believes the opening weeks of the campaign have been far harder than the freeflowing start to last season.
But he thinks City now have to show the mentality that got them a first title in 44 years in order to keep the pace.
Barry added: “The start of the season is different to what we experienced last year, people want to beat you that little bit more and this is what we’re finding out.”