Micah Richards’ season of joy has made him determined to stay with the Blues as long as he possibly can.
The England defender, whose one sour note is that a hamstring injury has kept him from leading the under 21s in next month’s European Championships, wants to force his way into the upper reaches of City’s all-time appearance list.
Now established as a right back with attacking credentials and only an occasional centre half, he believes that Roberto Mancini has been good for his game. Having tasted FA Cup glory the defender now wants more.
“The manager knows how to get the best out of me and I think he has improved me as a player,” reckoned Richards
“I would say that we are both fiery characters but it works. It has been a good season for me. With Jerome (Boateng) coming in and Pablo Zabaleta playing so well it has been tough competition.
“I have had to raise my game and I think I have done that. For me to nail down the right back slot at Manchester City is a good achievement and to win the FA Cup and come third in the league is amazing. We still feel we can improve as a team
For someone like me who has come through the Academy here and seen the club struggle and then grow then this season probably means a bit more
"It is just amazing for me when you consider where we have come from in such a short space of time and every year it just seems to be getting better and better.”
As he heads for the 200 game mark for the Blues the 22-year-old is eyeing a fresh deal that will keep him at the club beyond his mid-20s.
“I just love the club,” he declared. “I have always been fully committed and I have two years left on my contract. I am hoping that we talk about a new one in the summer.
“I want to be here as long as possible. There are not too many Academy boys in the first team at the moment. I believe I can go on and play hundreds of games for this club. I feel that when I am 100% there are not that many better than me in my position.
“The rotation policy makes that hard sometimes but again it is all part of being at a top club – a successful club. If you want to win things then you have to a deep squad and fresh legs for big games.”