Barry calls on Capello to promote Villa team-mates

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The Independent Online

Gareth Barry believes Aston Villa team-mates Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young deserve to be called up by England head coach Fabio Capello for next month's friendly international with Germany in Berlin.

Capello has already indicated that he will use the non-competitive matches before the World Cup qualifiers resume in April to try out budding stars of the future.

And Barry has seen more than enough at first hand of the form of Agbonlahor and Young to know they deserve a call-up.

The pair again played key roles in Villa's 3-2 home win over Blackburn on Wednesday evening which lifted them into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.

Young has already made a couple of substitute's appearances for his country but has been overlooked by Capello for the four qualifiers so far this season.

Agbonhlahor was actually named in Capello's squad for his first match in charge of the national side against Switzerland in February but was forced to pull out because of a hamstring injury.

Barry said: "The friendly international coming up would be an ideal opportunity for Ashley and Gabby who are both on a fine run of form with Aston Villa.

"Obviously, it is not for me to say who should be called up but I am sure they will have been watched again (against Blackburn).

"Hopefully their chance will come because they deserve it. The England manager will know the Germany game is a great chance to see players like Ashley and Gabby."

Barry has become an England regular during the past 14 months but that does not mean he is keen to give up his place against Germany for the sake of experimentation.

The 27-year-old said: "It gives you a bit of a buzz when you are playing for your country and things are going so well. Of course, it is going to lift everyone.

"The manager has said he will experiment (against Germany) but I had four years out of the England squad - and those four years I was out of things, you can't get them back.

"I want to play at every opportunity for my country now."

Villa were well below their best in overcoming Paul Ince's side but Barry believes acquiring the knack of grinding out results in such circumstances is essential to sustain a top four push.

He accepts that Villa may have similr nights in the future as they have to come to terms with a more demanding schedule as they are now competing in the Uefa Cup for the first time in seven years.

The jaded show against Blackburn came during a third game in six days and Villa face the same schedule next week, starting with Monday's league clash at Newcastle.

Barry said: "It was a great result for the team. We knew we didn't play very well but to come away with the three points was massive for us at this stage.

"Hopefully we can continue that run when we don't play well and we can keep winning games. "Blackburn came and played very well to give them credit. The fans would have expected to roll them over given the form we have been in. We probably got away with it a bit.

"Maybe it is harder for everyone to play at top level all the time because of the extra games. That is why you will probably see a few nights like on Wednesday when they boys are a bit sluggish and can't get going.

"They are tough nights for players out there but coming off at the end with three points, was a big relief."

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