Micah Richards believes it was vital City returned to winning ways against Reading in midweek.
Richards skippered the team that won 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium and thinks three points was the perfect fillip after the disappointment of last Saturday’s FA Cup final loss to Wigan.
“The game at Reading was massive for us because we’d just lost to Wigan and we needed a win and a good performance and we delivered on both counts,” he said.
“Reading may have already been relegated but we played really well and would have beaten most teams with that display.”
Stand-in skipper Richards also yet again proved what an accomplished central defender he is when he slipped into the role following Kolo Toure’s knee injury and it’s a position he hopes to return to at some point.
“Yeah, I enjoyed playing a centre back at Reading and I always have done so it’s always nice to get a chance to play there,” he said. “I’ve played alongside Joleon, Vincent and Kolo over the years and it feels very natural for me when I play there and if and when I’m needed, I know I can do a good job for the team.
“I don’t know what the team is going to be yet or who will play, but maybe it’s a chance to see one or two of our younger players against Norwich. I’ve played for the EDS a couple of times this season and know there’s some really good talent coming through so hope they get the chance to show what they can do.
There’s no pressure on either us or Norwich so I think you’ll see an open, entertaining game and hopefully that will reflect in our play
Richards, who has been forced to watch much of the campaign from the side-lines, was also keen to highlight a couple of the Blues’ outstanding performers this season, adding: “Pablo Zabaleta’s been my player of the year but in the last three months, James Milner has been incredible.
“James would be the first name on my team-sheet and though he’s always known for his hard work, it’s often overlooked that he has great technique, can pass, tackle and his role in the first goal at Reading underlined just how good he is.
“If he carries on the way he is and maintains the form he’s showed this year, I think he’ll be a massive player for us next season.
“On a personal level, the last six months have been really hard but I’m just happy to be back now. The fans gave me a great reception against West Brom and they appreciate I’ll always give 100% whenever I play and though this season is almost over, I’ll be in good shape and ready to go for the start of next season.”