Richards grateful to Mancini
Published 25/05/2013 | 14:22
Mancini, who was sacked earlier this month, often appeared to have issues with Richards and regularly questioned his fitness or form, or used him sparingly but the right-back has spoken in glowing terms of the Italian, who oversaw FA Cup and Barclays Premier League victories in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Richards, speaking on the club's post-season tour of the United States, said: "Mancini did fantastic in the three years he was here. The owners have decided they wanted a change and that was up to them but I'd like to thank Mancini for what he did for me - winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield."
He added: "It was brilliant, I'd never won anything before. I'm happy for that but we are moving forward now, and looking forward to whoever it is going to be and seeing their plans."
Indeed, the club have done little quell the intense speculation surrounding the veteran Chilean, which began even before Mancini was dismissed.
Richards said: "That's in the papers and what everyone's speaking about. But you never know, sometimes late runners come in.
"Whoever it is we will give 100 per cent and we'll be fully behind him."
Richards, 24, has learnt a little bit about 59-year-old Pellegrini from his team-mate Roque Santa Cruz, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Malaga.
He said: "He got to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this year. Roque Santa Cruz is out there. I sent him a text about three months ago and he said he was having the time of his life. It's all been positive from Santa Cruz."