Richards ready to fight for Manchester City first-team spot as comeback nears

The right-back is on the verge of a return to the squad and is determined to prove to boss Roberto Mancini that he is capable of a regular place in the team's starting XI

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has warned the club’s fellow defenders that he is ready to fight for a starting berth as he nears a return from injury.

The right-back picked up the injury whilst playing for Team GB in their quarter-final loss to South Korea in the Olympics, prompting City manager Roberto Mancini to invest in Maicon to fill the void.

However Richards, who has been at City for seven years, is determined to get back into the side which he helped win their first Premier League crown last season.

"It's probably going to take about two more weeks," Richards he said in an interview in City's official matchday programme. "I'm happy with the progress made so far because it was quite a bad one, but I can't wait to get back in among the squad."

"Winning the league was an amazing time for everyone involved at the club, but I guess it wasn't meant to be for me at the start of the season.

"I suppose it's part and parcel of football, injuries come with it. I think you just have to take it on the chin and get on with it really."

Despite the disappointment of missing the first few games of the season, Richards believes he will come back to prove himself more than ever now there is even more competition.

"It was hard, having been at the Olympics and then having to miss the first four or five games - it has not been easy," he added.

"It is especially hard when you know there are more players coming in and there's more competition. I think you need a big squad. Sometimes last season we had a few injuries and we fell short of the mark and we didn't really get the results we needed."

And with Richards experience at playing centre-back, there is even more reason why he thinks he should be chosen ahead of others.

He continued: "The manager's been playing a 3-5-2 system so there's more chance I'm going to play if he goes with that. But if he plays 4-4-2 it's going to be me, Zaba [Pablo Zabaleta] and Maicon battling it out for the right-back position.

"I don't mind as I've had competition here all my life. I've been here seven years and I'm still going, so a little bit of competition just makes it a little bit better. I just can't wait to get back and get playing to show everyone what I can do all over again."