Gareth Barry defends Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini over tactics

Last Updated: 31/10/12 4:52pm

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Gareth Barry: Manchester City midfielder defends manager Roberto Mancini

Gareth Barry: Manchester City midfielder defends manager Roberto Mancini

Sky Bet

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has defended manager Roberto Mancini for his tactical tinkering against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League last week.

The Italian deployed a three-man defence at one stage against the Dutch champions, but City stuttered and went down 3-1 at the Amsterdam ArenA in the Group D fixture.

Defender Micah Richards subsequently claimed that he and his team-mates had not trained in a 3-5-2 system, with Mancini's methods coming under scrutiny as a result.

However, Barry has now pointed out that like his fellow Englishman, he too had been sidelined during pre-season and so could not train in a three-man defensive system.

"I missed the whole pre-season with my operation," he is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.

"The lads said they worked on three at the back, as the manager wanted it as a Plan B. The players didn't seem to be overly-confident playing it. If the manager wants to go with it you have to do your best and respect it.

"When results don't go right these things get picked up on. At the other end of the scale he made an attacking decision at West Brom and Edin Dzeko came on and scored two goals. Those things don't get spoken about.

"You expect these things to come out when things go badly but we just have to stick together and go forward. We started that on Saturday with a clean sheet and three points."

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