English League 1

Croft set for Latics exit

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Fri, 24 May 2013 11:53:00

Micah Richards says that he has heard good things about potential Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini from striker Roque Santa Cruz, who has spent the season on loan with him at Malaga.

The dismissal of Roberto Mancini following City's FA Cup final defeat to Wigan earlier this month has seen Brian Kidd take temporary charge of first-team duties, including Thursday night's 4-3 friendly win over Chelsea.

Malaga's departing Pellegrini is the red-hot favourite to take the post at the Etihad Stadium, but Richards says the new manager will have the full backing of the players no matter who gets the nod.

"That's in the papers (Pellegrini) so everyone's speaking about it. But you never know, there are sometimes late runners coming in. Whoever it is we'll be fully behind them," he told Sky Sports News.

Speaking of Malaga, Richards said: "They've been quality; they got to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Obviously Roque Santa Cruz is out there and I sent him a text about three months ago and he said he's having a good time.

"It's all positive from Santa Cruz so hopefully, if he (Pellegrini) does come, he can bring it here as well.

"Managers are going to come and go. Mancini did a fantastic job in the three years he was here.

"The owners have decided they wanted a change.

"I'd like to thank Mancini for what he did. He brought an FA Cup, a Premier League and a Charity Shield," he added.

"For me, I'd never won anything before so I'm happy for that.

"But we're moving forward now; we're looking forward to whoever it's going to be and seeing their plans, the way they see the club and how far they can take us."

Croft joined the Latics last summer on a season-long loan from Derby but the move became a permanent transfer in January when his deal with the Rams was terminated.

The 27-year-old winger was offered fresh terms at Boundary Park but Oldham boss Lee Johnson told the club's official website: "I gave him a deadline which has now passed.

"As he has not replied, I expect him to sign for someone else and wish him all the best.

"I am hopeful of bringing in somebody of the same quality or even better."

Croft featured in 53 of Oldham's 54 matches this season, more than any other Latics player.

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