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Roberto Mancini's men needed three goals to see off a spirited performance from Neil Warnock's side at Loftus Road and maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has hailed his side's grit after a hard-fought victory over QPR.

Roberto Mancini's men came from behind to lead before a Heidar Helguson header got the hosts back into the game, meaning City needed a Yaya Toure goal to grab a 3-2 win.

"It is very hard coming down here; the manager warned us before the game this is going to be one of our hardest games this season," Richards told the club's official website. "If you look at the seats, they’re like three metres from the line so it was always going to be hard but I thought we dealt with it well.

"We're a bit gutted to concede two goals but we got the three points and that’s all that matters. We’ll celebrate the win tonight and we’ll take confidence from this because we know every game we’re not going to be able to play the fantastic football that we can. Sometimes we just have to grind out results and we did that today so we’re happy."

The defender also expressed his pleasure at being able to face former City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, who put in an impressive showing for QPR.

"I’ve played against him in training for how many years but I thought he was outstanding today," he continued. "I couldn’t tackle him, you’d tackle him and it’d ricochet off his leg and he goes through. He was quality to play with and I’m just happy he’s got his confidence back and he’s happy because he’s really doing well.

"He tried [to get into his head] but I wouldn’t let him because if he gets into your head, one minute he’s speaking with you, the next he’s scoring a goal. It was good to see him again and like I said I’m glad to see him doing well.

"It’s good to see them, obviously Shaun is a City legend and it’s good that fans forgive [former City man] Joey [Barton] for the way he went but two very good players and it’s always hard to come up against them. They want to give twice as much to impress but today we did the job and we’re happy."

Richards also stated his belief that QPR will stay in the Premier League this season, given the quality of their recent performances.

"They got a few signings in this summer, they’ve really spent money and they’re really going for it," he added. "I think they’ll definitely stay in the league if they play like that, they got a result against Chelsea and nearly got a result against us, so if they keep playing like that I’m sure they’ll be fine."

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