Barry praises Villa duo
Midfielder hails ability of Heskey and Milner
By James Riach. Last Updated: October 12, 2009 3:45pm
Barry: Backing Villa duo
England midfielder Gareth Barry has praised former Aston Villa team-mates Emile Heskey and James Milner.
Striker Heskey has revealed he may have to leave Villa Park to get regular first-team football and ensure his place in the squad for next year's World Cup finals.
Barry admitted Heskey is a crucial part of the Three Lions side, with strike-partner Wayne Rooney and other attacking midfielders benefiting from the work-rate of the big forward.
"He's hit the ground running this season for Aston Villa, so there's no reason why he can't go out there full of confidence and go out and show people what he can do," Barry said
"It's not just Emile (who is thinking about first-team football). It's that time of year when you want to be playing regularly and the World Cup is in the back of everyone's mind.
"I can understand where Emile's coming from, he's got his place in the England team at the moment and he won't want anything to change that.
"Playing regularly for your club can help you cement your place in the England squad, so it's not just Emile but I can understand his feelings.
"He's struck a great partnership with Wayne Rooney in the qualifying campaign and again his work-rate and the way he plays for the team is second to none.
"Wayne and the attacking midfielders have five playing off him so he's a big part of the team."
Milner, who came on for his third England cap against Ukraine on Saturday, has also been tipped to make the squad for South Africa by Barry.
"James seems to have improved again this season," he added. "He's making the benches in the qualifying campaign, he's making the squads regularly, his confidence will improve him as a player.
"Playing on both sides, as he did on Saturday, swapping with Wayne Rooney, playing on the left first then going to the right - being versatile can only help when it comes to making squads like the World Cup."
Fabio Capello's team take on Belarus at Wembley on Wednesday hoping to end their qualifying campaign with a win.
Barry said: "The buzz is still in the camp because it's the last game in the qualifying campaign, in front of our own fans and we want to put in a good performance, get a victory and take confidence from that into the World Cup."