Gareth Barry has cursed the timing of Everton’s upcoming fixture against Manchester City.
The midfielder has enjoyed a sparkling start to his career at Goodison Park, with Everton taking nine points from nine since his arrival on loan from the Etihad Stadium.
Premier League rules prevent Barry from playing against his parent club, much to the frustration of the 32-year-old who will now be forced to wait until October 19 when the Toffees entertain Hull City for his next action.
“It’s come at a really bad time for me,” Barry told evertontv. “In terms of fitness, you want to keep that run of games going because the fitter you get the easier the games become and the more you can get into your stride.
“It’s a tough one because the international break is straight after so it could be a three-week gap without a game which isn’t ideal. I’ll work hard to keep the levels up in between.”
As a Manchester City player, Barry twice suffered defeat against Everton at the Etihad Stadium. He also was involved in last season’s 1-1 draw between the sides at the start of December.
The Toffees have lost just one of their last eight matches against the Citizens – and the former Aston Villa man will be happy to provide any inside knowledge to help that sequence continue.
“The lads will know enough about the team [Manchester City] without my input but if anybody needs advice they can ask me,” added Barry.
“They’ll be expecting a tough game because Manchester City have shown that at home they are a tough team to beat. The couple of performances they have put in [in the Premier League] have been brilliant, especially the Newcastle game. To beat Manchester United in the derby - they played some fantastic stuff.
“We are going to have to play a really top game to get a result at the Etihad but we are capable of doing it.
“They [Everton] have always been tough to beat when I was on the other end of it. If the manager [Martinez] sets the team up as hard to play against but try and create problems for them at the other end then I’m sure we are capable of getting a result there.
“The manager won’t be too defensive – he will go there and want the lads to play their normal game and create problems [for Manchester City].
“I’m looking forward to watching the game. It should be good.”