Gareth Barry won't shy from "unfamiliar" relegation battle with West Brom
Gareth Barry is ready for a battle in unfamiliar territory after vowing to do all he can to help dig Albion out of trouble.
The 36-year-old became the Premier League’s record appearance holder earlier this season but confesses the Baggies’ current position, near the foot of the table, is a new experience.
Barry won the title with Manchester City, while the majority of his time at Villa and Everton was spent chasing European football in the top half.
Albion have not won for 20 league matches, are currently four points from safety and only above bottom club Swansea on goal difference.
But Barry, who arrived at The Hawthorns from the Toffees last summer, is up for the challenge.
“It’s on my mind the position we’re in and I’m doing what I can to help. Experience could be key,” he said.
“It’s going to mean a lot (to get out of trouble). Like a few lads in the dressing room I’ve got no experience being down in the relegation zone playing these games.
“They are big pressure games especially now. Next week is going to be a huge game in front of our home fans and for me.
“For how much experience I’ve got, it’s something new for me so I’ve got to bring into the games what I know because it is just another game of football and try and get us over the line.”
Asked if it was the responsibility of experienced players to step up, Barry replied: “Of course. There’s a lot of experience in that dressing room and we’ve got to try and help the younger players through.”
Albion recorded their first win since August with a 2-0 FA Cup third round win at League Two Exeter City on Saturday. Attentions now turned to Saturday’s home game with Brighton.
The Seagulls sit 12th in the table but are only seven points ahead of the Baggies in what is a congested bottom half.
“The main thing on Saturday was getting into the hat for the next round and we’ve done that but it also just gives us that little bit of a winning feeling in the dressing room that we’ve not had for a while,” said Barry. “It’s something to build on and it’s obviously a massive game next weekend at Brighton and hopefully we can take some positives and take that feeling of winning a game of football into next week.
“I’m sure people were looking at Saturday as a chance for a Cup-killing. We’ve been struggling for form in the Premier League and they’ve been doing well in the league.
“We knew if we came here with the right attitude but we got through and especially in the first half we got the job done.
“The FA Cup is massive. For me growing up, the FA Cup final used to be one of the biggest days of the year. I know all about it and the lads who come into the dressing room know about it too and they asked a lot of questions.
“We want to go as far as possible but at the minute it was a game of football and a chance to build something towards next week because the Premier League is where our eyes are at the minute.”