Manchester City defender Micah Richards claims Fabio Capello had 'favourites'

The Citizens' full-back is delighted to return to the international fold but is mystified as to why he couldn't work his way back into the squad under the Italian tactician
Micah Richards believes he was frozen out of the England set up by Fabio Capello because the Italian had 'favourites' at right-back.

The powerful defender has been included in the Three Lions squad for the upcoming friendly with Holland, a game which will be overseen by Stuart Pearce, who gave Richards his club debut at the age of 18.

The Manchester City stopper played just 45 minutes in Capello's four-year reign but is now looking forward to getting himself back into the international fold and possibly playing at Euro 2012.

"If I was to get on the plane now I’d be the proudest man," Richards told reporters. 

“To be frozen out of your international side is hard to take sometimes, everyone wants to play for their international team, especially when you’re playing in a team that’s doing so well.

"I didn’t get a chance under Capello, I don’t know why. I always asked the question, but I never got answer."

Richards was selected in the squad for England's final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro but did not make an appearance and questioned whether Capello wanted to select him at all.

He continued: "Glen Johnson was injured. It was me and Kyle Walker, but I wasn’t even on the bench in that game. I was probably there because someone was injured not because he [Capello] wanted me there.

“He liked Glen and Kyle and sometimes you’ve got to just take it on the chin if the manager fancies someone else. You have to deal with it.”

Richards insisted he wasn't particularly moved after Capello's departure but stated that England would have had a 'good chance' in Ukraine and Poland under the Italian.

When asked for his reaction, Richards said: "There wasn’t one really, although I was quite surprised.

"I got a lot back from the players and they thought he was some strict schoolteacher, but by the end he was really good with the lads and more chilled out."

How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.