Defeat in Moscow will be down to the players not a plastic pitch, insists Villa skipper Barry

23 February 2009 03:22
Birthday boy Gareth Barry insists Aston Villa

cannot blame CSKA Moscow's plastic pitch if they crash out of the UEFA Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday.

Russian about: Aston Villa's Gareth Barry and CSKA Moscow's Milos Krasic at Villa Park

Barry, 28 today, was part of the England side beaten 2-1 by Russia in the same stadium in October 2007, a result which played a major part in Steve McClaren'sside failing to reach Euro 2008.

Barry is aware the artificial surface can pose problems but is confident Villa can come to terms with it as they look to triumph after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

The midfielder said: 'It is quite a difficult surface because you're just not used to playing on it. You're playing in moulded boots rather than your studs which the majority of players wear.

'It is different but we'll have a day's training beforehand and we'll get used to it. It can't be used as an excuse.

'The ball does bounce slightly differently but not enough to be used as an excuse. It rolls pretty straight. It doesn't move and you get used to it pretty quickly to be honest.

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'You've got to try and be experienced and not worry about it at all. You've just got to play your normal game.'

Barry is confident Villa's ability to win on their travels - they have won their last seven Barclays Premier League away games - means they can pull off a positive result.

He said: 'We felt we should have won the first game and we know we've got to score in the second leg because of the away rules goal.

'But we will fancy our chances because it might be set up a bit better for us to play our counter-attacking game away from home.

'They sat back in the game at our place so hopefully it will suit us a bit more over there.'

Villa boss Martin O'Neill will weigh up today how strong a side to take to Russia after admitting qualifying for the Champions League is top priority.


Source: Daily_Mail