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Micah rises to the challenge



Micah Richards admits the pressure is now sky-high to win a place in Roberto Mancini's starting line-up - and then battle to hold on to it.

The manager's summer recruitment drive to forge a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League title means that competition is now fiercer than ever, reckons Micah.

Right-back Richards shone in the 3-0 victory over Liverpool that underlined the Blues' determination to crash the elite this season following May's fifth-place finish.

He said: "I'm not going to lie, the pressure is high. When you are not picked you are a bit down. When you are picked, you have to play at 100 per cent to keep your shirt. It's hard, but it's also good for the team.
"The club has changed ridiculously, I'm just glad to be a part of it. The manager has come in and bought all these players but I am still in the starting line-up.

I just hope to keep playing well and stay in the team, because there are some outstanding players here now



"It's been so competitive at the training ground. We have 25 very good players, some of them world class.

"There is going to be tension in the camp because everyone wants to play. David Silva has come and he was on the bench against Liverpool! Only 11 can play, so when you get your chance you have to take it."

Micah also revealed the boss is taking a special interest in his bid to regain the consistency that made him an England regular as a teenager. He admitted: "Sometimes I tend to switch off a little bit.

"That is when the danger comes. I'm trying to keep my concentration more. It's a weakness the manager is trying to help me put right.

"He keeps telling me I have the attributes to be one of the best players in England and that I just need to focus on being aware and watching the players around me. If I can improve that, hopefully I will be.

"I tend to play better with better players anyway. For me, it is just getting a good few games and a bit of consistency. If I can play like I did against Liverpool for a few games on the trot, who knows?"

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