Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Manchester City under less pressure after FA Cup win says Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry believes the demand for success at Manchester City is less intense due to last season's FA Cup triumph.

City's victory over Stoke at Wembley ended a 35-year barren run.

It also provided the spur to propel them straight into next season's Champions League rather than face a hazardous qualifier, as they had imagined.

Little surprise City have found themselves centre of attention again, even if skipper Carlos Tevez has fuelled discussion surrounding the Blues with his demand to leave.

However, Barry does not believe the glare of publicity is quite as fierce as it has been in the past.

"It was a lot worse before we won a trophy," said the 30-year-old England midfielder.

"Obviously the expectation is high but it seems a lot more settled.

"Winning the FA Cup is a reminder that we can go the full distance in a competition. That drought is finally over.

"We cannot just rest on that though. It is important that we don't keep still.

"We have to move forward to try and reach the levels other clubs have maintained over the years."

Clarity on the Tevez issue should help, although an impending move for his Argentina colleague Sergio Aguero indicates manager Roberto Mancini is preparing for the end game.

This weekend's meeting with David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy will provide an additional talking point too, although James Milner is just delighted his team-mates came through a very difficult trip to Vancouver with no further injuries beyond the ankle knock Mancini thinks will sideline Yaya Toure for three to four days.

"It was probably one of the worst pitches we have played on," said Milner.

"I am not blaming anyone but it is not ideal in pre-season and probably increased the risk of injury.

"There were big chunks coming out of the pitch, so turning was difficult.

"You try to put it out of your mind but when it is taking you five steps to turn round, subconsciously you are bound to think about it.

"Yaya has got injured and if it is not too bad, maybe we were a bit lucky to get away with it."