Micah not relishing Brit return

BY foxsports • February 17, 2010

City moved a point ahead of the Reds into fourth in the Barclays Premier League after a controversial 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday night. Roberto Mancini's men will now hope to take a firm grip on that final Champions League position as they tackle the Merseysiders at Eastlands at the weekend. But after a bruising night and a second draw against Stoke in four days, next week's FA Cup fifth-round replay with the Potters is a less appetising prospect. Richards said: "I think Liverpool will be a different sort of game. "Hopefully we'll be firing and ready for these big four games. "We've beaten Arsenal, (Manchester) United and Chelsea at home, so there is no reason why we can't beat Liverpool if we do the basics well and we all work hard. "There will be a lot more football played and we will be at home as well. "People always say you go to Stoke and you should be winning but credit to them, it is hard to play when 10 or 11 are battling for 90 minutes. "If you'd have said before the game we'd get a point, we'd have expected three but it's not a loss at the end of the day. "We're disappointed but credit to Stoke. It is a bit of a fortress now and the fans always get right behind them. "Good for them but for us it's back to the drawing board and we're here again next week. "It's going to be another aggressive game - not one we are going to look forward to but anything can happen and hopefully we can go through to the next round." City struggled to handle Stoke's direct and physical approach last night but the momentum shifted in their direction when Abdoulaye Faye was sent off for pulling down Emmanuel Adebayor early in the second half. But despite dominating possession, City failed to take advantage and Glenn Whelan profited from some poor defending to blast Stoke ahead on 72 minutes. City rallied to pull level through Gareth Barry five minutes from time but Stoke were left fuming when Ryan Shawcross had an injury-time winner, after heading in from a Rory Delap throw, disallowed. Delap's deliveries had troubled City all night but they were reprieved when Shawcross was punished for a foul on Shay Given. Richards, who had returned to the side after almost three weeks out with a calf injury, added: "When they get a throw in the 95th minute and the crowd are behind them you're just thinking, 'Oh no'. "Then the goal is scored but fortunately it was a foul on Shay so we were delighted. "We are obviously disappointed not to get the win after they went down to 10 men but the atmosphere - you can't even give away a throw-in. "They are so dangerous at set-pieces and throw-ins. All in all I think a draw was a fair result but we are still disappointed not to get three points."

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