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Feb 24, 2012

Richards: Capello had 'favourites'

Micah Richards believes Fabio Capello's shock resignation will benefit England, because the Italian had "favourites" who he selected even when out of form.

• Pearce calls on Richards and Campbell
• Door not closed for Rio and Lampard

Richards was called into the England squad by caretaker coach Stuart Pearce on Thursday ahead of next week's friendly against Netherlands at Wembley. With only a handful of months left before the Euro 2012 Championship, the Manchester City defender now wants to prove he deserves a place in the final selection.

Under Capello, the 23-year-old never stood a chance. One substitute appearance during the former England boss' reign was a poor return for the right-back of England's Premier League leaders.

No matter how well Richards played for City, and he has had his fair share of Man of the Match awards this season, he was never to Capello's fancy. And Richards admits he was never given a reason why.

"I didn't get a chance under Capello. I don't know for what reason," Richards said in the Sun. "Did I ever get an explanation? No, never. I always asked the question but I never got an answer.

"Every player wants to play for their country, especially when you are in a club team that's doing so well. But Capello had his favourites, he liked Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker and sometimes you've got to just take it on the chin."

Stuck on 12 international caps, Richards was described by Pearce on Thursday as a player who was once tipped as a 100-cap man. But Richards insists only a catalogue of injuries would have seen him go to Euro 2012 under Capello.

"For the Montenegro game, Johnson was injured. It was me and Walker but I don't think I was even on the bench in that game," the City defender explained.

"I was there because someone was injured, not because he wanted me there. To be frozen out of your international side is hard to take.

"If I was to get on the plane now I'd be the proudest man. I'll be delighted to get another chance - whoever the manager is. I just want to kick on because I'm doing well with City, we are top of the league, doing well in the Europa League and hopefully, if I keep playing well, then who knows?"

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