Man City defender Richards determined to take back the right-back role
20 October 2009 02:43
Defender Micah Richards is determined to fight for his Manchester City future and has dismissed reports he wants to leave.
The England international started the first six matches of the season but after the 4-3 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford he lost his right-back slot to Pablo Zabaleta.
He returned as a centre-half for Sunday's 1-1 draw at Wigan, which he finished on the right of defence after Zabaleta was sent off.
That dismissal means the Argentinian is suspended for the visit of Fulham on Sunday so Richards is likely to start in his favoured position.
And he stressed his focus is on securing his first-team place and not looking for a move away despite speculation to the contrary.
'For them to suggest that I want to leave City is absolutely ridiculous,' said the 21-year-old. 'I have three-and-a-half years left on my contract. When you look at the way this club is going, who in their right mind would want to leave?
'I am 21 and people seem to forget that I am still learning my trade. I am just enjoying the ride.
'There is perhaps the impression out there that I am bit older than I am but I know I am not the finished product.'
There is more competition for places at City than ever before and Richards, who has been with City since he was 14, knows he cannot afford to take his selection for granted.
'There will be seven people sitting on the bench who all think they deserve to be in the starting line up - most of whom will be internationals,' he told the Manchester Evening News. 'That is great for the club and great for us as individuals.
'Obviously everyone wants to be playing but, by the same token, when people are in the team and doing well the manager can't just drop them.
'Look at Stephen Ireland and how he played last season and at the start of this one. He hardly puts a foot wrong, gets an injury and suddenly has to sit on the bench too.
'That's how far we have come as a group in the last few months and everyone has to be treated equally.'