Micah Richards nearing return to Manchester City's leaky defence

 

Manchester City defender Micah Richards looks like making a timely return from injury to give the team a welcome boost at the back.

The 24-year-old has not played this season after injuring his ankle on Great Britain duty at the Olympics.

So far City have conceded 14 goals in seven matches - 16 in eight games if the Community Shield is counted - and have yet to keep a clean sheet.

But Richards, who had an impressive run in City's Barclays Premier League-winning season, thinks he is almost ready to return.

"It's probably going to take about two more weeks," he said.

"I'm happy with the progress made so far because it was quite a bad one, but I can't wait to get back in among the squad.

"Winning the league was an amazing time for everyone involved at the club, but I guess it wasn't meant to be for me at the start of the season.

"I suppose it's part and parcel of football, injuries come with it.

"I think you just have to take it on the chin and get on with it really."

It has been a frustrating time for Richards as he has had to watch from the sidelines as new players - defenders like Maicon and Matija Nastasic - have come into Roberto Mancini's squad and staked their claim.

But he is not frightened of the competition and is looking forward to the battle of winning his place back.

"It was hard, having been at the Olympics and then having to miss the first four or five games - it has not been easy," he said in an interview in City's official programme.

"It is especially hard when you know there are more players coming in and there's more competition.

"I think you need a big squad. Sometimes last season we had a few injuries and we fell short of the mark and we didn't really get the results we needed.

"The manager's been playing a 3-5-2 system so there's more chance I'm going to play if he goes with that.

"But if he plays 4-4-2 it's going to be me, Zaba (Pablo Zabaleta) and Maicon battling it out for the right-back position.

"I don't mind as I've had competition here all my life. I've been here seven years and I'm still going, so a little bit of competition just makes it a little bit better.

"I just can't wait to get back and get playing to show everyone what I can do all over again."

Although the disappointment of missing out on Euro 2012 with England was tempered somewhat by his call-up to the GB side, Richards remains focused on regaining his place in Roy Hodgson's squad.

"If you look at my form last season, when I was playing, I thought I was as good as any English full-back in the league," he added.

"It is hard for the England manager though. He's got a lot of players to choose from and there are players in that position who are also very good - Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker, who got young player of the season.

"Again there's competition but I've always said when I'm fit and playing I believe I'm as good as anyone in the league.

"It's just up the manager to give me a chance and if he does I'll take it with both hands."

PA

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect