Micah Richards threatens to quit Manchester City

Last updated : 07 January 2011 By Daily Mail

The 22-year-old revealed a conversation with England manager Fabio Capello convinced him he must be playing every week to win back his spot in the national side, admitting he is fed up of sometimes playing second fiddle to the likes of Jerome Boateng and Pablo Zabaleta.

Despite playing a full 90 minutes in the mid-week draw at Arsenal, Richards has started just two league game in the last seven under Mancini.

On his way: Micah Richards has warned Manchester City he will leave if he is not picked week in, week out

After ending his three-year international exile in a cameo outing in November's defeat at Wembley against France, Richards says his heart-to-heart with Capello prompted his demands to play or leave Eastlands.

'Mr Capello has told me that if I'm not playing regularly he will find it hard to pick me,' Richards said, speaking to The Sun.

'Being back in the England set-up after so long away from it really got me buzzing again and I know I'm good enough to make that right-back position my own.

'But that won't happen if I'm not playing consistently.'

With City going strong in the race for the title in second place behind rivals Manchester United, Richards conceded his timing was a little peculiar but insisted his need to play regularly was far more important.

National service: Richards wants a full return to the England squad after a three-year exile

'I know people will be reading this wondering why I don't just shut up,' he added.

'City are second and they will say what the manager is doing is working and keeping us fresh but I know my ability and I want to show it.

'I'm not the sort of player who can just sit around and bank his wages.'

Richards insists he has no problem with manager Mancini despite his frank outburst but said he is growing tired of coming in and out of the first team.

'I've got no problem with the club or Roberto Mancini as a manager but he knows how I feel,' he said.

'I went to see the boss and told him how frustrated I was.

'He said I was part of his plans but I went three Premier League games without even getting on, started against Aston Villa, then didn't play against Blackpool.

'Sometimes I'm in, then Jerome Boateng comes in instead, or Pablo Zabaleta, or two of us play. It's in, out, in, out, mix and match.'

Richards believes his revival in form has coincided with his return from international wilderness and says he has matured as a person and a player after dropping out of form under former boss Mark Hughes.

He added: 'I could understand being left out when Mark Hughes was in charge because I wasn't playing that well and was going through a bad time.

'We didn't have so many good players but I wasn't at my best.

'I wasn't in the team at the end of last season under Mancini either but I worked really hard in pre-season and was determined to become an important part of the team.

'I feel I've been playing well. I'm confident in my ability and know when my game is in good shape, which right now it is.

'When I first got into the team as a teenager everything was going great but I hadn't really learned the game properly and I sort of crashed for a while.

'But I'm a different person now, I've learned, and I'm happy with my game again.'

However, his comments could land him trouble with City boss Mancini after Richards complained that sitting on the bench is 'unacceptable' for him.

He said: 'Mancini says I've improved a lot but it's not getting me regular starts.

'I've never really been used to sitting on the bench and not playing and I hate it. I don't feel it's acceptable to me if I'm honest.

Not alone: Richards says the likes of Johnson and Wright-Phillips are also unhappy on the sidelines

'We've got a ridiculous amount of players, so many in every position who are all top quality and there are plenty of good players who don't get in at all.

'We travel with 21 and three don't even get to be sub.

'You hope the club understands that they have to let people go and not leave them to rot.'

Richards also added that he was not the only player feeling discontented at the club, who have had their fair share of off-the-field sagas already this term, including two training ground bust-ups.

'Players like Shaun Wright-Phillips have been frustrated at not playing as has Adam Johnson. Shaun was told the same thing by Mr Capello that I was, that he needs to get regular football,' he said.

'I feel more for Adam, particularly, because he could find himself in the same situation as me and Shaun. He's a young man who wants to be playing too and he has said that a few times this season.

'I love City. I've been there since I was 15 and I got capped by England while playing for this club.

'But having reached that level I want to keep myself up there.

'This is not me telling the boss, 'you must pick me for every game', I'm just telling it as I feel it.

'I want to be somewhere where I'm kicking a ball every week.'

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Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail