Barry - City cannot lose
Midfielder gives Whitehead the 'benefit of the doubt' over elbow
Last Updated: March 25, 2012 9:14pm
Gareth Barry: Is expecting a very tight end to the season in the title race
Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry knows he and his team-mates are likely to need a 100 per cent finish to the season to win the Premier League.
"We can't be relying on other teams - we have got to try to win all our games from now until the end of the season."
Gareth Barry Quotes of the week
City regained top spot in the table by coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Stoke, but the two dropped points could prove crucial.
Roberto Mancini's men lead Manchester United only on goal difference and their rivals could move three points clear if they beat Fulham in their game in hand on Monday.
Nevertheless if City win all their remaining eight games including the derby against United on 30th April, they will still be crowned champions - as long as they stay ahead on goal difference - and because of that Barry wants to view the latest result positively.
The 31-year-old said: "We are disappointed because we wanted to win the game, but we have got to look at the big picture now and concentrate on the next eight games.
"We were a bit deflated in the dressing room, but we have gone a goal down here, which is a really tough place to come, and come back to get a point which keeps us in touching distance.
"It is important now we keep it to no more than the three points for when we do play Manchester United.
"We can't be relying on other teams - we have got to try to win all our games from now until the end of the season.
"That is our target. It is going to be really tough, but while it is in our hands it is still possible. We are confident we can do that."
Along with Peter Crouch's wonder goal in the draw with Stoke, the game's other major talking point occurred midway through the first half when David Silva required treatment to a head wound after being caught by the arm of Dean Whitehead in an aerial challenge.
Referee Howard Webb spoke to Whitehead but did not produce a card.
Such was Mancini's anger after this and other incidents in a hard-fought game that he did not speak to media post-match, passing duties to his assistant David Platt.
Barry said: "The game was exactly as we expected and as we have had the last few years we have come here. It was a tough battle.
"It [Silva's] was a nasty little cut - I think he [Whitehead] caught him with his elbow so I was very surprised not to see a yellow card.
"But Howard's the best referee in England so we have got to give him the benefit of the doubt."
City's recent away form has been costly with just two wins in nine games on the road.
Barry added: "It was always going to be tough to keep the blistering start we had going, the run we had was fantastic.
"People were saying we were unstoppable, but it is such a long season, it is tough to keep that going
"We have got eight games now, we must try to win them all."