Micah: City not a one-man team
Manchester City defender Micah Richards has refuted claims that Roberto Mancini's troops rely too heavily on talismanic skipper Carlos Tevez.
He is, however, by no means the only important cog in Mancini's machine, with success achieved on the back of a collective effort.
England international Richards believes it is important to remember that no one player can carry a whole side and has been quick to laud the integral roles undertaken by others.
He told Sky Sports News: "Carlos is a striker, he scores goals. Adam Johnson is a provider, so he provides, along with David Silva. (Nigel) De Jong and Gareth Barry do the running around for the team, so everyone has a job.
"Sometimes we get called a one-man team, but there are other players in the team who do a fantastic job as well."
Unfortunately for City, the goals have dried up from all quarters of late, with goalless home draws taken from their last two fixtures against Manchester United and Birmingham.
Richards insists there are positives to be taken from those games, though, and is confident the club remain on course to achieve their target of a top-four finish.
He added: "We need to score a few more goals but we have had three clean sheets in our last three games, so we are happy and are moving in the right direction. We are doing a bit better than last season and the Champions League is our aim."
City's big spending has made them an easy target for critics and Premier League rivals and Richards acknowledges that life for the Blues is a lot harder than it once was.
City's efforts of late have been hindered by reports of dressing room unrest and a lack of faith in Mancini's ability to take the club forward.
Richards admits it can be difficult at times to keep such a big squad happy, but knows it is important to have strength in numbers if the club are to fulfil their potential.
He said: "We have got a lot of players and it's hard to keep everyone happy, but that's what football is all about. When you are given your chance you have to take it.
"It's good and if we are going to get to where we want to we have to have competition in the team."