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Barry's Highbury return

13 January 2013

Anthony Barry was left to reflect on a bittersweet day as he started his first game after a 16-month lay off in the 3-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers.

By Tom Bestwick

Anthony Barry was left to reflect on a bittersweet day as he started his first game after a 16-month lay off in the 3-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers.

The 26-year old midfielder damaged his knee cartilage against Darlington at the start of last season, but after returning as a substitute last week against Northampton he played 70 minutes before being replaced by Damien Johnson. Barry said: “The day started a lot better than it finished, but on a personal note I never thought I would be playing 70 minutes, I have only played one reserve game so to be starting in the first team after such a long time is great news, and I am surprising myself with the progress that I am making, on a personal note today’s a good day, but overall it leaves a bitter taste. Graham Alexander said in his programme notes yesterday that he has been impressed with the attitude Barry has shown to return and the hard work he has put in on the training ground, and the midfielder is looking to repay the faith and patience that has been shown in him. “I wasn’t surprised (to start the game) because I backed myself, and I think when I am fully fit I will be an asset to the team, but maybe surprised how quickly it has come, but it shows the gaffer has got belief in me. I just hope I can repay him really, I’ve got no doubt that on a personal note I will do.” Yesterday’s game means the midfielder has played in three games in the space of a week as he looks to step up his recovery, a remarkable achievement after being told he would be a long shot for the rest of his career. “The knee feels fine, we will know more tomorrow. I have played three games in a week, I have been told that I would be a long shot for the rest of my career so to do the first week I am delighted.” Town were left disappointed after failing to get going against the leagues bottom club Bristol Rovers, and Barry says the team will be looking to make amends when they travel to Barnet next week. “I don’t think there are any excuses; I don’t think there is a lot to say except from we are disappointed. We will analyse, and we will look to move. I think the league is a bit up and down; everyone is beating each other to be honest. That wasn’t good enough and we will look to react straight away at Barnet next week. “We get paid to win games, we have all been bought here to get promotion and anything else is unacceptable so we go to Barnet next week looking to win.” After getting a taste of first team action again, Barry will be looking to get even more minutes under his belt in preparation for the Barnet game, as he looks to cement his place in the Alexander’s starting line-up. “That’s purely down to the gaffer (whether he starts or not), and what he wants to do, hopefully I will be fit. Maybe I will have another reserve game during the week and get more minutes under my belt. I have no doubt once I am fit and ready I will be an asset to this team, and one of the best players in the league.”

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