Richards aiming for Brazil

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has set his sights on winning the England right-back spot ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Last Updated: 08/05/13 at 23:38 Post Comment

Micah Richards: 'It's a big challenge and it's a World Cup year'

Micah Richards: 'It's a big challenge and it's a World Cup year'

Richards has endured an injured-ravaged season at the Etihad Stadium but is determined to get back to his best next term and help England qualify for Brazil.

The 24-year-old is now back in action after lengthy lay-offs for ankle and knee problems and made only his sixth start of the season as City beat West Brom.

Richards has won 13 caps but was frequently overlooked by former manager Fabio Capello and missed out on Euro 2012 amid confusion over whether he was on Roy Hodgson's standby list or not.

He did earn a place in the Great Britain Olympic squad but it was then his latest injury problems began.

Richards said: "Hopefully next season I will be injury-free and I can show everyone what I can do.

"It's a big challenge and it's a World Cup year.

"Every Englishman wants to be there. I look at my competition there and, in all honesty, I don't see players better than me.

"Hopefully, given a chance, I can do something there as well.

"I feel I am good enough to be around that set-up. It is about being given a chance."

Liverpool's Glen Johnson is Hodgson's current first choice in the position while Kyle Walker of Tottenham is also highly favoured.

Another Liverpool player, Martin Kelly, was selected for Euro 2012 instead of Richards after it was reported the City man had refused to be put on standby.

There may have been a breakdown in communication over that matter but Richards is not letting it bother him now.

He said: "He had a hard decision to make in the summer when Johnson was playing fantastic.

"I was a little bit surprised when Kyle Walker didn't go injured and I didn't get the call. I was on standby.

"But that's how it goes. I can only prove them wrong by playing well and I have got to be playing in this team (City) before I can think about England. I have to take it one step at a time."

Richards, in only his fourth match back after the ankle problem, went down with a serious knee injury playing against Swansea in October and required an operation.

He did not return to action until last month's game against Wigan, after which manager Roberto Mancini suggested he was still not in good condition.

It seemed a harsh assessment by the Italian after such a long absence but Richards was much happier with his performance in the 1-0 defeat of the Baggies.

He said: "To be fair, I'd only played 90 minutes, and 60 minutes at centre-half with the reserves.

"You know the running you have got to do in this team at full-back is hard, and I did find it hard.

"Obviously I've got some more fitness now, I feel a little bit sharper than my first time out."

Richards impressed last season but had to share right-back duties with Pablo Zabaleta as Mancini preferred to rotate the pair.

This term, with another option in Maicon also out for long spells, Zabaleta has seemingly made the place his own with performances that have arguably been City's best player this season.

Richards was made captain against West Brom as Mancini rested several players ahead of this Saturday's FA Cup final against Wigan but he accepts he is unlikely to play at Wembley.

He said: "I've not played any part in the FA Cup this season, so to play or even be on the bench I think would be harsh on the lads who have worked hard this season to get there.

"I'll be there supporting them. I'll travel down with the boys and wish them all the best. I think they deserve it.

"We haven't played the best football this season, like we did last, but I think we definitely deserve to win the FA Cup."

City have announced they will play two additional pre-season friendlies in South Africa this summer. They will play two South African domestic sides on July 14 and 18 before heading to Hong Kong for the Barclays Asia Trophy and then taking part in the Audi Cup in Munich.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

ark clattenburg is one of those referees that tends to get stick from both sides cos he likes to let the game flow and is quite lenient, and people only remember the fouls against their own team that go unpunished whilst not noticing the ones they've gotten away with. To pick up 4 yellow cards with clattenburg in charge speaks volumes about your approach to the game mr pellegrini.

cc1
Pellegrini: Ref cost us game

V

astly under-rated goal keeper. Barcelona could have gone out and bought a keeper at any point they liked, but they stuck with him for a reason.

HarryBoulton
Victor Valdes The Perfect Option For Liverpool

A

s things stand he's joined the team at the top of Serie A :)

shea666
Milan: Van Ginkel deal tough

Footer 365

Premier League: Morgan Schneiderlin feels Southampton squad could be stronger this season

Morgan Schneiderlin does not feel the busy summer of transfer business at Southampton has had an adverse effect.

Primera Division: Atletico beat Real in Madrid derby; Barca defeat Athletic Bilbao

Neymar's brace gave Barcelona a win over Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp, while Atletico beat Real in the Madrid derby.

Bundesliga: Shinji Kagawa scores in Borussia Dortmund win, Bayern Munich triumph

Bayern Munich returned to winning ways with victory over Stuttgart, while Shinji Kagawa scored for Borussia Dortmund.

Mail Box

A Lousy Day At The Office For Liverpool

We have some excellent thoughts on Arsenal's draw and Liverpool's woeful loss, plus praise for Villa, Diego Costa, Philippe Senderos and the 'final' word on hitting the post...

Was LvG Too Quick To Judge Welbeck?

That's one shout in the mailbox, which typically includes a reference to the great man's cojones. Plus, more on Jack Wilshere and F365's free transfer David Bowers...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property