Micah vows to impress Capello

BY foxsports • November 7, 2011

Capped 11 times by Steve McClaren, who made him England's youngest-ever defender when he handed him a debut against Holland as a 17-year-old in 2006, Richards has been almost totally ignored by Capello - the Italian again leaving him out of his squad for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden. Richards made an appearance in last season's friendly defeat to France but appears to have slipped behind Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in the pecking order with both Manchester United centre-halves offered the chance to impress at right-back in Glen Johnson's recent absence. "To be fair when I first got called up I was playing centre-half for City," he recalled. "I then played right-back for England, so I can't really complain - it happens. "Jones and Smalling have been doing well for Manchester United. "If the manager wants to give them a chance it is up to him, there is no point in me moaning about it. "I know what I've got to do - keep working hard - and that's what I'll do." However, as Richards concedes, there is little else he could be doing at present. After all, he has established himself as Roberto Mancini's first-choice right-back in a team that is unquestionably the Premier League's best at present. While Capello still has reservations about Richards' maturity, Mancini has none given the defender was named captain at QPR on Saturday when Vincent Kompany missed out through suspension. "I must be doing something right," Richards shrugged. "In seasons gone by I have not been playing my best. Now I've started off well and we are top of the league. "As I've said before, it's up to Capello. If he wants to give me a shout I am always there." By his own admission, Richards has improved beyond all recognition since the days when he seemed set to hold down the England right-back berth for the next decade and beyond. His concentration levels have improved whilst the physicality and athleticism he first showed as a raw newcomer to City's academy remain. "I have improved, twice, three times since the first time I played for England," said the 23-year-old. "We have got a fantastic manager who has helped me so much. Even by giving me the captain's armband, it boosts my confidence. "He just tells me to go out, enjoy it and express myself. "I've still not been given a start under this England manager, so I've not been able to show what I can do. "I know my form has to be right for City before he can pick me, but if he gives me my chance I am sure I can take it with both hands, just like I did before."

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