York City: Neil Barrett interview

Two months ago, Neil Barrett admitted that being left out of York City's squad for the first time in his career hurt like hell; the only plan that mattered was to win his place back.

And now that mission has been achieved the new year goal concerns playing a part as the Minstermen seek a play-off spot.

Former Chelsea trainee Barrett failed to earn even a place on the subs bench for the first time in his career when City took on Kidderminster in the FA Cup in October.

The midfielder conceded then that his future may have looked bleak but the 29-year-old vowed to fight for his place and within a month was back in the first team for the eventually-abandoned league game at Luton.

December's cold snap and widespread postponements put paid to any prospects of the Londoner ending the year with a sustained run in the first team but the 5ft 10in player appears very much back in Gary Mills' plans as 2011 begins.

And, after being quite literally frozen out until only recently, Barrett admits it feels great to have worked his way back into his manager's plans.

"That was always my goal. I was determined to work hard in training and show the manager what I could do.

"I believe I have gone some way to doing that and hopefully I will be involved in these next few games.

"Hopefully I can carry it on now and carry on training as I have been doing.

"it was great to be back in the side but it was a shame the game against Luton got abandoned after 55 minutes."

Up until yesterday's clash with Gateshead, the Hatters game on December 18 was the last time York had played in the league and Barrett admits the arctic conditions came at the wrong time for both him and York.

The Minstermen came into the Luton clash unbeaten in seven and with the weather improving, Barrett hopes his side can now pick up where they left off with an exciting FA Cup tie at Bolton also on the horizon.

"It's been frustrating because we had been playing well of late," said Barrett of the recent big freeze.

"When you are winning you want to be playing and in the Luton game we were playing quite well!

"We are looking forward to all the games coming up and we have got the big Bolton tie as well, but we have got some important matches before that.

"If we can get a good win before that game I am sure we will go there with a lot of confidence."

A starting berth for the clash at the Reebok would be the icing on the cake for Barrett in his quick turnaround from being isolated from the squad to being back in the team.

The Tooting-born midfielder began his career at Premier League big guns Chelsea and admits the tie with the Trotters – now just one place below Chelsea in the table –- will undoubtedly be one to savour.

"They're flying at the moment and they are the games that you want to play in – against the best teams and the best players," he said.

"They certainly have some of the best players in the country at the moment.

"Not a lot has been said at the moment and we are concentrating on the games that are coming first but I'm sure the closer it gets the more excited the players will become."

Excited is also Barrett's mood as the year kicks in, the City player delighted to be back in the frame and admitting the aim now is to stay in the side and drive York onwards and upwards in Blue Square Premier – the midfielder firmly believing that a play-off place is in reach.

"For the team the aim is definitely to get in the play-offs and I think we have got a squad capable of doing that if we are consistent," he said.

"We need to be like we have been in the last couple of months – consistent and getting good results.

"It would be nice to be part of that, but I'm sure if I keep doing what I'm doing then I'll give myself the best chance."