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Gareth Barry issues Goodison rallying cry ahead of semi-final

Veteran midfielder knows Everton need to get the crowd onside and use them to their advantage

Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Gareth Barry has urged the Everton supporters to create a raucous atmosphere and get behind the side during tonight's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.

Everton's patchy recent form, especially at home, means the Goodison atmosphere has suffered of late, with anxious and tetchy supporters quick to get on the player's back.

However, when the crowd get behind the side Goodison's ageing rafters can still provide a fearsome atmosphere - think Bayern 85 or Fiorentina '08.

Barry has experienced both sides of the Goodison roar having been on the losing side playing for both Aston Villa and Manchester City.

The 34-year-old hopes the fans can rouse themselves again to help Everton take a first-leg advantage to the Etihad Stadium in three week's time.

He said:

"You will feel that tension in the air. This club is waiting to make the step to Wembley. The players are aware of that. I am. It is down to us to get on the pitch and achieve the performance that will set us up to get through. We never seem to make things easy for ourselves at Everton and at City it was the same, having to come from behind to get ahead in the big games. But we have to be confident that we can beat them.

"For me, Goodison is the toughest away ground to come to. I have experienced it. At the minute we are not using that to our advantage for some reason. That is what we need to set up on Wednesday. If you are an opposition player and you want to take a touch but the crowd is on your back, it is a difficult place to play. Under the lights here, the atmosphere is that much stronger. We need to use that to our advantage."

"There are definitely two sides to Goodison and we have got to use it to our advantage. Any crowd that gets on your back makes it difficult but you are going to get that if things aren’t going well. The fans have got their right to give their opinion."