Richards dismisses speculation
Micah Richards has stressed that he is ready to fight for his Manchester City place after being linked with a move away from the club. Richards started the first six games of the season but lost his right-back berth to Pablo Zabaleta after the 4-3 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford. He returned at centre-back in place of the injured Kolo Toure against Wigan on Sunday before being shifted to right-back when Zabaleta was sent off. The England international is now likely to start at full-back for this weekend's clash with Fulham as Zabaleta serves a one-match suspension. Speculation has nevertheless surfaced suggesting Richards could be keen to secure an exit from Eastlands but he insists nothing could be further from the truth. "For them to suggest that I want to leave City is absolutely ridiculous," he said. "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." Competition for places at City has increased following a busy summer of spending but Richards is relishing the healthy rivalry and maintains that it is good for the team. "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."
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