Micah Richards has expressed his joy at being back in Fabio Capello’s thoughts after being named in the 30-strong squad to face France on Wednesday night.
And the Blues defender is delighted too that Ben Mee has received recognition for his efforts this season by being called into the under 21 party that faces a friendly with Germany.
Richards, who has been on the bench for the last three Premier League games, won the last of his 11 senior caps back in November 2007 against Croatia.
Despite being England’s youngest ever defender when first capped in November 2006, he has hardly featured under Capello until now and is pleased to be back in the fold even if he doesn’t make the final 18 or 23 at Wembley.
“I think I have done reasonably well this season. I feel as if I am improving and whilst I know I can still get better it is great to be back in the senior squad,” he declared.
“There is huge competition for places at City at the moment especially in the defensive roles so you know that when you play you had better make the most of it and I feel I have been more consistent this season.
I feel fresh and raring to go and I am very happy to pull on an England shirt at any level at any time
Mee’s call up to Stuart Pearce’s under 21 squad – a party that also contains Richards’ name – was a surprise considering he has only one senior City start behind him (in the Carling Cup) and is one of the young Blues not out on loan gaining experience.
According to Richards, however, Mee – an England under 20s regular - will not be in any way out of place in the under 21 set-up.
“Ben is a good player and a hard working player,” he said. “He spends a lot of time working on his game. He may be a surprise name to some people because he is not playing somewhere week in week out and is not high profile but we all know how good he is.
“I think he has played at all the age groups up from mid-teens for England and Stuart Pearce has been to Carrington to watch training a couple of times recently.
“I hope Ben can take his chance. He captained City to the Youth Cup success and has a good left foot which is always an advantage. He has loads of ability and I am really pleased for him.”