Manchester City defender Micah Richards vows he will not beg to play for England

The 25-year-old refused to be a standby player during Euro 2012
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The Manchester City defender Micah Richards, who has been frozen out of the England set-up, has said that he will not “beg” Roy Hodgson to select him and that he does not want to be regarded as a “charity case”.

Richards, 25, made his England debut seven years ago but defied Hodgson before the European Championship last year when he rejected the chance to be one of the squad’s five standby players. Instead he was included in Stuart Pearce’s Team GB for the London Olympics.

That decision not to play for Hodgson did not go down well with the England manager, who was then prepared to give the player a fresh start after just two caps in almost five years. Since then, Richards has not been included in the 10 squads Hodgson has picked post-Euro 2012.

Richards played only his second game of the season for Manchester City against Bayern Munich last week, and did not feature in Saturday’s win over Everton. Asked about his relationship with Hodgson, Richards said: “Well, it was one of those where Stuart Pearce asked me to go to the Olympics and not go on standby. If I went on standby I might not have made the Olympics and that was one of the highlights of my career.

“I’m not going to beg for him [Hodgson] to pick me, I’m not some sort of charity case. If he needs me I will be there because everyone wants to play for their country.

“I always take it as it comes. I have not been involved for two years. Stuart Pearce gave me a game when he got it. I want to play for my country and I would be happy if I did.”

Pearce picked Richards for his one game in charge of England after the departure of Fabio Capello, against the Netherlands in February last year. During his time in charge, Capello played Richards for just 45 minutes, as a second-half substitute against France in November 2010. having ignored the player for the previous 18 months.

The first 11 of Richards’ 13 caps were won in little more than a year under Steve McClaren, who made the right-back a key part of his Euro 2008 qualification campaign that ended in failure. Richards was 18 when he made his England debut in November 2006 and looked like he might have a long career in international football. However, he has fallen behind Glen Johnson (currently injured) and Kyle Walker in the pecking order, as well as non-specialist right-backs Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.