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Barry: Being above Man Utd has given Villa confidence

Aston Villa are currently third in the Premiership above Manchester United, a situation which has boosted Villa's confidence claims midfielder Gareth Barry. The England international told the Birmingham Mail: "It is a confidence-booster seeing ourselves above Manchester United.

"We have played two games more but it is good to see us sitting above them at this stage of the season. We are halfway now and that is a great sign.

"It puts a bit of pressure on teams below you if you do keep winning. We have won back to back away games and we now we have this big game on Boxing Day which hopefully can set us up for the New Year.

"The critics can keep saying we are not there on merit. But if we can stay there until April then people will start changing their mind.

"We don't mind not being taken seriously, it takes the pressure off. We will probably keep talking that way ourselves, at least in public anyway.

"It is alright starting well and then dropping away but here we are, halfway through a season and that shows the massive effort put in so far."

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