Ahead of the derby, Micah Richards has sung the praises of Manchester United, reflecting on the determination of our club at all levels and what City are lacking in comparison to us.
“Any other season we would have enough points to win the league,” said Richards. “But they always find a way. When you play United you always know it’s drilled into them: ‘We have to win.’ Even when I was playing against them in the under-14s they would always go right to the last minute. They just never wanted to lose. Just look at their game at Chelsea when they went 3-0 down. I was watching that and, seriously, if we go down 3-0 down, we’re not coming back. I think only Man United could have done that. It shows what they’re about. Once we get a little bit of that…”
It’s not just United’s desire and ability to win that Richards is jealous of but the mentality of our players too.
“Look at someone like Park,” he said. “When he doesn’t play, he doesn’t moan, does he? At City we’ve got 20 to 25 internationals, we all want to play and, when you don’t, you get upset and it’s hard to deal with sometimes. You don’t see players at United complaining to their manager when they are taken off. They have been doing it [rotation] for years and it’s Sir Alex Ferguson’s way or no way: ‘If you don’t like it, we’ll get someone else.’ It’s different here. It’s all new to us. If we are going to be a strong team, the players are going to have to accept we can’t play every week.”