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Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Richards denies he is out of condition

Soccernet staff

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has denied claims he is overweight and out of condition. The 20-year-old, out of form this season after being proclaimed as City's jewel in the crown since making the breakthrough in the 2005-6 season, insists he is working hard to rediscover his best form for the club after making some high-profile errors for the struggling Blues.

City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest at the weekend and are just two points ahead of Premier League safety.

"People are saying stuff about me looking slower or heavier or whatever but to be honest that's rubbish," Richards told City Magazine.

"If anything I have lost weight and have less body fat than I did last year. We are constantly monitored in both those areas.

"I am working as hard as ever and I don't feel as if I have done anything drastically wrong this season for people to comment on.

"What I don't do is let anything that is thrown at me get in the way of training or learning."

Richards is also determined to win back a place in the England squad, after being overlooked by manager Fabio Capello.

He said: "I take criticism in my stride. All players have dips, and I am staying positive. I know I give 100% in every match.

"Of course I am not the finished article. I have lots to learn and would be a fool to think anything else.

"I believe in my ability and I think City fans know what I am capable of. It is just a matter of finding the form I was in last season."




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