Micah eyes Euros place
- 23 February 2012 17:17
- Posted by Chris Bailey
Micah Richards hopes that his return to the England party will be a more permanent affair than of late and has set his sights on a place in the Euro 2012 squad this summer.
The Blues full back was consistently overlooked by departed England boss Fabio Capello but Richards’ former City manager and under 21 coach Stuart Pearce has named him in the group to face Holland at Wembley next Wednesday night.
“I am obviously thrilled to be back in contention; the last few times I have been selected I didn’t necessarily feel as though I was in there on merit but because someone else might have been missing. This time I feel I have earned the call,” declared Richards after hearing the news of the call up.
“I have worked really hard to improve as a player over the last eighteen months or so and it is nice to get the recognition at international level that Roberto Mancini has given me at City.
“Given the quality of the players we have brought in, I am proud to have nailed down a place in Roberto’s plans and now I hope to do the same with England.
“Stuart gave me my big chance at club level and he knows me as a person and a player. I think I offer England options at right back and at centre half.”
It's a case of history repeating itself for Micah who made his Three Lions debut in a friendly against the Netherlands in 2006, becoming England's youngest-ever defender at 18. He has a dozen caps to his name but the last was in November 2010.
He knows he faces a stiff test to oust either Liverpool's Glen Johnson or Spurs' Kyle Walker from the starting line up but insists there is no animosity between the trio.
“I get on well with Kyle, we were in the under 21s together. I know him better than I know Glen but both are fabulous footballers," he said.
“There is rivalry but it is friendly; we all want England to do well. It is like at City where Pablo Zabaleta and myself are battling it out for a starting place. We fight to be on the team sheet but we are the best of mates in training and support one another. It will be the same in the England camp.”