Micah Richards believes City have the quality to win the Premier League, though he says the players are keeping focused only on the next game.
The England defender had to watch his team-mates as they kept the pressure on leaders Manchester United by beating Blackpool at the weekend, but says confidence is high going into the second half of the campaign.
“The belief is there within the squad, definitely,” said Richards. “We’re just taking every game as it comes and we don’t want to get too excited, especially with Arsenal next up.
“With the players that we’ve got, if I were asked: ‘Do you think we’ve got a good enough squad to win the Premier League?’ I’d say yeah. When it’s going to happen, I’m not sure, but we’ll just keep fighting and hopefully we will, sooner rather than later.”
Richards also said there are a dozen players desperate to break into the team, but who have to wait for their chance, though everyone in the team knows there is someone waiting to fill their place should their form dip.
“We’ve got a lot of players in there that are not playing regularly,” he said. “People think that players don’t really care if they’re not playing and because they are still earning their wages – but it’s nothing like that at all.
“Sometimes I can’t sleep at night when I’m not in the starting eleven, thinking ‘what can I do to play?’ and it’s hard. It’s nice when the fans sing your name and applaud you when they see you. It drives you on.
The City the fans have been with me ever since I made my debut and they make a massive impact on me and that’s why I love it here
Micah was quick to text congratulations to his pal Nedum Onuoha when he scored his wonderful solo goal against Chelsea recently for Sunderland and Nedum repaid the complement when Micah scored a fine goal of his own at Stoke.
Never short of self-belief, Micah also reckons he could do a job as an emergency striker if the situation ever arose, dismissing Joleon Lescott’s attacking prowess in the process!
“I do think I should score more goals and I could do a job up there if required,” he said. “Me and Joleon have got this thing going on. He came from Everton and scored a lot of goals and he finally broke his duck against Aston Villa last week.
“But in training he’s hopeless in front of goal! I’m always scoring and, as you can see with my goal against Stoke, there’s a bit more creativity there, too. So I’d love to be played as an emergency striker – a bit of pace and power – I couldn’t fail!”
Read the full, exclusive interview with Micah in the January issue of ManC – available this week in all reputable newsagents and the City Stores.