Micah Richards is delighted to have made his return to action with Manchester City
Micah Richards has expressed his delight at returning to competitive action with Manchester City sooner than expected.
Last Updated: 08/10/12 11:19am
The 24-year-old made his first appearance of the season against Sunderland on Sunday, with an ankle injury picked up while on Olympic duty having delayed his start to the 2012/13 campaign.
Richards' inclusion at the heart of Roberto Mancini's back four came as something of a surprise, but he put in an assured display as the reigning Premier League champions eased to a 3-0 win.
"Obviously it is nice to get back after so long but it is nice to get a clean sheet," he told City TV.
"We had not kept a clean sheet this season so to come in and step into the back four - I thought the back four was outstanding.
"But I thought James Milner was my man of the match. I thought he was outstanding, he was everywhere.
"Obviously (Aleksandar) Kolarov had a good game as well, so it was an all-round good team performance and I am just happy to be back."
Richards has also taken the time to recognise the fine form of defensive colleague Joleon Lescott, a man he considers to be something of an unsung hero at the Etihad Stadium.
"He is a quality defender," Richards said of his fellow England international.
"A lot of people don't understand how good he is - well, people do because he is playing for England - but he really is a top-class centre-back, one of the best in the league.
"I think last season and at the start of this season he has shown that."