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Villa players urge fans to lay-off Man City's Barry

Aston Villa players hope fans do not boo Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry tonight.

The former Villa captain returns to his old club for the first time and is expected to run the gauntlet.

Villa defender Curtis Davies said: "I'd like to think the fans would clap Gareth but I've got a feeling it will be jeers.

"He gave this club good service. But obviously football is very fickle and I think people see the short-term picture.

"I know Gareth has gone from saying he wanted to play Champions League football, when he nearly moved to Liverpool last summer, to moving to Manchester City.

"But maybe he's thought that long-term maybe City might have the structure to become a Champions League team more so than us. That's Gareth's choice - but we'll beg to differ."

Villa midfielder Craig Gardner also remarked: "Gareth didn't put a foot wrong at Villa. He was a role model and I, like a lot of others, looked up to him.

"I spoke to him when I was up, I spoke to him when I was down, and he was just a top class pro.

"It was a shame to lose Gareth but he's moved on. Hopefully for Gareth's sake, he does get a brilliant reception from our fans because I think he deserves it for what he did for Villa during his time here."



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