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Villa boss O'Neill keen to rest Barry

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill admits he's seeking to rest skipper Gareth Barry.

"The exertions of international matches, players travelling all over the place, does take its toll, but all the clubs are in a similar position," the Villa manager said. "Manchester United also have players travelling everywhere and have had similar experiences to ourselves.

"We might start to change things around a little bit now. I just felt that some of the international players looked a little bit leggy. Gareth looked drained and not the usual Gareth Barry we've come to know and enjoy."

O'Neill used last week's international break to send Nigel Reo-Coker away for a short holiday and may do the same with Barry after Christmas.

"Nigel Reo-Coker had no break in the summer after captaining England Under-21s in their [European Championship] tournament and then coming straight into the transfer to us, so he's had a week's break. So I hope at some point during the course of the season, maybe if England do qualify and they're through, we are able to give somebody a break for a few days. But Gareth Barry loves his football and he wouldn't want to [have missed] a game like Man United.

"That's for the future. Ashley [Young]'s gone away with the England squad, had a great experience, better than a week's rest even if he didn't play. It's great for him and for Scott Carson."

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Tribal Football Staff

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