Gareth Barry welcomes competition for England place from Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere ahead of Wales game

Form will count for nothing in derby clash, Manchester City man says

Gareth Barry has welcomed the competition for places in the England side as he believes it will only improve the team.

The midfielder place in Fabio Capello’s starting XI is under threat following the emergence of Jack Wilshere this season, however, the Man City player is confident that if he applies himself in training he will be selected by the Italian.

He told reporters: "I've never come to an England squad and expected to be in a team and that's still the same.

"When players like Jack burst onto the scene it's extra competition.

"It's going to make selection for individuals tougher but I'm still sitting here, training hard and hopeful of being selected and if I am, I'm confident I can put in a performance for my country."

Barry believes that starting games at Arsenal this year has helped Wilshere’s development and he hopes more young players take up the mantle and improve to put pressure on the current England squad.

"It's good for England that there are players like Jack who are bursting through," he said. "It's good for the country and tougher for individuals to get their places.

"The more somebody is involved and the more somebody plays the more their confidence grows and that's what I've seen in Jack Wilshere this year."

Gareth Barry: It will be a Premier League atmosphere in Cardiff

The midfielder thinks the clash against Wales will be especially tough with a full house at the Millennium Stadium cheering on the home side, with recent results counting for nothing.

Barry added: "Like any derby where a team has not started well, form goes out of the window.

"All their players are going to be pumped up desperate to beat England. It's going to make it tougher for us, especially with Wales boss Gary Speed in charge for his first qualifying game.

"He will have the players stoked up with a full house behind him so we're expecting a tough game and we will give them the respect they deserve."

Our  provides the best breaking news online and our  football fan community is unmatched worldwide. Never miss a thing again!