Richards predicts great things
Published 16/01/2014 | 23:37
Micah Richards is predicting great things ahead for free-scoring Manchester City as the relentless march of Manuel Pellegrini's men continues in all four competitions.
City have scored a remarkable 99 goals so far this season, in all competitions, a stark contrast to Richards' early days at the club where in 2007 under Stuart Pearce they failed to score in their last eight league games of the season at home.
Even more worrying for their rivals, the expensively assembled squad now has Sergio Aguero back from a calf injury and Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic also pushing for a place ahead of Cardiff's visit on Saturday.
It would be a brave man to bet against City breaking the 100 goals mark against Cardiff, and Richards, 25, is convinced the club are on track for glory but admits it is a difficult job for the manager to keep all the players happy.
He said: "I just hope we stay together and grow as a squad and try and keep everyone happy because it's hard when everyone is not playing every week.
"If we can keep this squad together, we will do great things.
"A massive thanks to Sheikh Mansour for changing everything and for coming in and investing in the squad. It's good times and every player wants to be here because this is the club to be at this moment in time.
"Hopefully we can keep going in this direction."
City continued their hot streak with a 5-0 demolition of Blackburn in the FA Cup, the 11th time this season they have scored four goals or more in a match.
Richards admitted that the contrast with that barren run in 2007 made the current streak all the better.
He added: "That was under Stuart Pearce. We didn't score for something like five months here. It was ridiculous. How times have changed.
"You savour these good times all the more because of back then. For me, every day, I come in and I see the players I'm playing with and you compare them to the players I was playing with seven years ago and they're all internationals now. It's a different kettle of fish."
Jovetic will find his work cut out to force his way into the team with Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko scoring almost at will, but Richards has seen flashes of quality in the Montenegrin to suggest he can make an impact.
He said: "It's going to be hard for him to get into this team, but I'm sure he will be working hard and doing everything he can.
"I've trained with him. I think if you saw him in the AC Milan game pre-season, I know it was only pre-season, but it was against good opposition and he ripped them to shreds with his movement, skill and touch.
"But I think the strikers have got everything. Sergio has pace and power. Edin is a good finisher and good in the air. Negredo runs around like a man possessed and is a great finisher. Jovetic has skill and technique.
"They've all got something, some sort of gift to bring to the team and it just seems to be clicking at the moment.
"If we want to win the league, if we want to win trophies, they are going to be key.
"Last season it was more about defenders doing well. I think this season it is more about the attackers and that's why we look so good."
Richards, however, is refusing to get carried away by talk of an unprecedented quadruple.
He said: "We don't want to get too excited. We want to be in every competition and I think with the squad we have, we should be in every competition.
"This is the second-string team apparently and we've won 5-0. I don't think there are any weaknesses in the team. I think that's the most important thing and if we can keep that going until the end of the season we'll be all right."