Barry backs Balotelli for improvement

Gareth Barry has backed Mario Balotelli to recreate last year's form after the striker's goal against Wigan in midweek.

Last Updated: 30/11/12 at 07:21 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli celebrates his goal at Wigan

Mario Balotelli celebrates his goal at Wigan

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has backed Mario Balotelli to recreate last year's form after the striker netted his first Barclays Premier League goal of the season against Wigan.

Balotelli, who made his first start in six matches at the DW Stadium on Wednesday, endured a largely frustrating night but remained focused and gave City the lead with a 69th-minute strike.

James Milner added the second three minutes later with a stunning effort to seal the 2-0 win for Roberto Mancini's side.

"Any striker's first league goal is going to be massive in a season. To be fair to Mario, he has not had loads of chances," Barry said.

"When you do get them you need to score them. He has taken a chance with his start here. It could be good for Mario. Hopefully he can go on a run now.

"Mario is not going to lack in confidence if he misses two or three. He'll keep trying the same things.

"Hopefully his goal will give him a bit more confidence and he can improve from there."

Balotelli was dropped for the match against Tottenham earlier this month and was then kept out by a back injury.

Speculation that the 22-year-old will leave Man City during January's transfer window has continued despite Mancini's denials that he is not looking to move him on.

Barry believes Balotelli wants to stay at the Etihad Stadium and hopes the controversial striker will quickly start to add to his goal tally.

"I think he is happy," Barry said. "If you see him day to day then you'd see no reason for him not to be.

"Obviously he has probably not played as much as he would have liked but he has kept his head as well as anyone else who isn't getting chances.

"He scored some massive goals last season and if he can repeat that this season it'll be good for us."

Barry is relieved that City are back to winning ways after successive draws against Chelsea and Real Madrid, although Wigan caused City plenty of problems and missed several chances to take the lead.

"I think at half-time we knew we had to step it up to get any sort of result," the midfielder said.

"The pitch made it quite tough, it was really heavy. Some of the passes in the first half went astray easily. We stepped it up a bit in the second half and deserved the win in the end.

"We looked solid in defence but didn't create too much. It is always important to get that first goal and it came at the right time."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t all started going downhill when they started putting a photo of the writer along side their story. Journalists started to think that 'they' are the story, rather than what they write. Smug, self obsessed & up their own arse's. That sums up the majority of newspaper sports reporters.

cozens
Do We Need So Much Football Media?

T

he reason so much sh*t is written about football is because there are so many people who want to read sh*t about football. Now shut up, take my money, and tell me Ronaldo is going to sign for Van Haal and that Mick McCarthy is signing Peter Crouch on loan.

hump3.
Do We Need So Much Football Media?

W

enger's delaying tactics in the transfer market creates goose pimples whenever a player is linked to Arsenal. The approach in buying players need to be changed@@#

mokaya
New striker 'on Wenger's list'

Footer 365

Louis Van Gaal vows to walk away in 2017

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is determined to win the Premier League in the next two seasons but will retire in 2017 regardless.

Sergio Romero signs for Manchester United on three-year deal

Manchester United have signed Argentina international goalkeeper Sergio Romero on a three-year contract.

Bastian Schweinsteiger fitness boost for Manchester United

Manchester United have been handed a lift on their pre-season tour with the sight of Bastian Schweinsteiger training again.

Mail Box

Only Arsenal Fans Care About Friendlies

We are not entirely surprised after Arsenal fans leapt to the defence of friendlies. We also have mails on Louis van Gaal, Liverpool and more mundane tales...

Friendlies: Still Completely Meaningless

There is sharp message for anyone thinking about getting excited about friendlies, plus worries about Wayne Rooney. Every one of you has met a bloody footballer...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company