The powerful defender, 20, netted in the 3-0 European Championship qualifying victory over Israel in September 2007 under Steve McClaren.
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But Richards has yet to feature for his country under Capello and has been left out of the latest squad to face Slovakia in a friendly on Saturday and the Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier on April 1.
He hopes his goal in the 1-0 win over Sunderland will help him win back his place in the senior squad after an indifferent campaign at Eastlands.
Richards said: "It does hurt when the England team get together and I want to get back in that squad, but only I can sort that out now.
"My confidence is back. I have been getting some stick this season but I never lost the belief that I could contribute fully to the team or stopped trying my best.
"I'd be lying if I said that it didn't hurt me when I was dropped from the England side.
"I feel I was a little unlucky to get an injury at the wrong time and then Wes Brown and Glen Johnson both came in and did a fine job.
"It has been hard for me to get back in.
"Football though works in funny ways and I might get a chance in similar circumstances and then it is up to me to show the manager what I can do.
"It is up to me to fight my way back into the England side."
Meanwhile, City have slashed admission prices for the forthcoming Uefa cup quarter-final home leg against Hamburg in an effort to sell out Eastlands.
City have struggled to attract fans in the competition, with Mark Hughes's side playing in front of thousands of empty seats against the likes of FC Twente, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Copenhagen and Aalborg.
But with Hughes's side are in the last eight of the competition for the first time since 1979, City have taken the decision to offer tickets for the second leg against Martin Jol's Hamburg on April 16 at just £5 for adults and £1 for under-16s.
They go on sale on Wednesday for five days and will then increase to £10 for a further 10 day,s after which admission will double to £20.
City's executive chairman Garry Cook said he hoped the move would attract a 47,000 sell out.
Cook added: "These prices are our way of saying thank you to all our supporters.
"It's been a long time since we were in a position to perhaps win silverware and and we want to make this game accessible to all."