Micah: We must improve defending

Mark Hughes’ side were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bolton on

Saturday to result in an eighth draw in nine Premier League games

for the visitors. Defensive mistakes have underlined City’s run of

just two wins in 11 league games and speculation has suggested that

Hughes may be planning to make alterations to his back four in the

January transfer window. Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott and Kolo

Toure have failed to fully meet expectations after expensive

arrivals over the last 12 months and Richards acknowledges that

City’s entire team must improve defensively. The 21-year-old, who

has forced his way back in to Hughes’ first XI, said: “If we’re

going to get to where we want to be, we’re going to have to tighten

up. It’s something we’ll need to work on. “When we go forward, we

all tend to go and that leaves gaps at the back, so it does leave

us a bit vulnerable.” Richards scored at the Reebok Stadium and he

believes there have been signs of promise in the respective Carling

Cup and league wins over Arsenal and Chelsea. But City travel to

White Hart Lane for a vital match against fellow top-four rivals

Tottenham on Wednesday night and it is perceived that there will be

a need to control attacking instincts. He added: “Some of us have

lost concentration at times and maybe been too keen to get forward.

But against Arsenal and Chelsea we’ve shown we can keep things

tight and nullify that urge to attack a little bit. “So we know we

can do it, it’s just a case of putting it into practice. We’re

really disappointed with the goals we conceded against Bolton. “It

does seem like there’s never a dull moment with us right now.”