Gareth Barry: I’m ready to go if West Brom need me
Midfielder Gareth Barry says he is fit and ready to play if Albion need him to feature against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
The 38-year-old has not appeared for the Baggies first-team since suffering a career-threatening knee injury back in March.
But he has battled his way back to full fitness and has now played two matches over the past few days.
Barry played in a training game on Saturday and also featured for the reserves in their 4-0 win over Port Vale yesterday.
And his return is a huge boost for the Baggies who take on Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday without Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers – with the duo both suspended after picking up five yellow cards.
“I feel good,” Barry said.
“We had a training game on Saturday and another game on Tuesday. I’ve come through both of those unscathed. The knee is feeling good and I’m looking forward to getting back whenever I am needed.
“There’s nothing like being out there in front of the fans and the adrenaline rushing through.
“I’ll never put myself out of a game. If the manager asked me what I was thinking in terms of Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, I’ve always put myself up for selection so it’s then down to the manager and the coaching staff to make a decision on the squad.”
Barry – the Premier League’s all-time record appearance holder – was actually released by Albion at the end of last season.
But following his appointment as head coach, Slaven Bilic told the midfielder he would get a new deal if he could prove his fitness.
And the former England international is grateful for the support his boss has shown in him.
“From day one Slaven has been fantastic,” he continued.
“He told me to get myself fit but don’t rush it and we’ll have another conversation.
“In terms of now, it’s up to me to show the manager what I can do.
“It’s not about what I have done in the past – I’ve always worked like that.
“It’s what the manager and the fans will be seeing from now on so I’ll be looking to put some good performances in in training and in games.”
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