NEWS: Richards Praises Zabaleta

Micah Richards is nearing a return to full fitness and is eyeing the Manchester derby next Monday as a potential comeback game. With Pablo Zabaleta in the form of his life Richards has a battle on his hands to earn a starting place in the team and has praised his Argentinian team mate. He said:

Pablo Zabaleta has been playing at right-back and he’s been my Player of the Year so far. Zaba’s been incredible and deserves all the plaudits he has been getting. But I can’t help thinking I wish it was me but because I’ve been out and Maicon’s missed most of the season, so Zaba’s been able to express himself more and everyone has seen the results.

Last season, both Zaba and me were playing well so we tended to chop and change and both had runs in the team. Now, because he has had a good run in the team, he’s proved he is one of the best defenders around and has fantastic commitment and desire. I think we’re very similar in that way. I think I’d have had a similarly successful season and that’s where the frustration kicks in.

I don’t expect to just walk back into the team, because the lads have all been playing so well but I want to finish strongly and then really power into next season after having a full pre-season training behind me.

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