By Paul Brown
Gareth Barry admits he smiled to himself when he saw Manchester City drawn with his former team Villa in tonight's Capital One Cup clash.
Barry said he's relishing the encounter with Villa's new "young guns" - and James Milner is too!
He said: "I had a smile on my face when we drew Villa.
"I was chatting to James about it and we were talking about how when you leave a club these fixtures always seem to come up in the cups.
"That's football. It often brings you back together.
"I am looking forward to the game and hopefully I can play against some of these young guns that Villa are bringing in and through.
"It's always a big thing when I play Villa, having spent so many happy years there.
"I still massively keep an eye out on Villa and how they're getting on.
"All my mates are from Birmingham. Most are Villa fans. Some are Blues supporters. The banter is still there.
"I spent 12 years at the club, played loads of games in that claret and blue shirt. It's still one of the results I look out for.
"I enjoyed my time at the club so much. You don't suddenly lose touch with a club after all that service. But I'll be going all-out for the win this evening."
Despite the Southampton loss, Barry thinks things are on the up for Villa.
He added: "I watched the Newcastle v Villa game at Stan's and it was great to see so many young players out there.
"They were so impressive and there were so many positives in that performance from the young players. The more they play together, the more they will gel. I am sure Villa will shoot up the table.
"I don't know Paul. I have never met him. But I have spoken to Stan about him and he speaks very highly of him.
"The job he did at Norwich was fantastic. When I saw the appointment, I thought 'that's a really good one.' It is a definite step in the right direction for Villa.
"I think he deserves time to get things right. Things don't change overnight. I have no doubt - having heard about the way he works - that he will turn things round."
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