Barry hails Aston Villa's 'strong mentality'

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Gareth Barry believes mental strength will be the key if Aston Villa are to secure a Champions League spot next season.

Martin O'Neill's side have been in superb form this term and currently are five points clear of their main rivals Arsenal in the battle for a top four finish in the Premier League.

Despite the majority of the squad have yet to experience the pressure that will grow during the run-in, Barry believes everyone at the club needs to stay strong in order to clinch a top four place.

The England midfielder said: "We are in the Champions League places. We are in with a good chance of staying up there. We have played everyone now, we know we can beat anyone on our day and get a result anywhere.

"We have got to aim high and that will be the Champions League now. There is no point in denying it. We are in form with our run of results.

"That sort of form breeds confidence into players and we are going into games confident of winning."

He added: "The aim is to try and get that fourth spot. We have got to be realistic about it.

"There are players in the dressing room who haven't been in this situation before including myself.

"The majority of players haven't been in a run-in where the pressure is going to be getting to players and there is going to be a lot at stake.

"You are going to need strong players and a strong mentality. I think we are getting that.

"If you are winning games, there is a strong mentality there. We are not always playing well but the results are there and that is down to a strong mentality."

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