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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 5 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 5, 2006

Youngster Richards wants improvement at City

Micah Richards may be just 17 and fresh to life in the Barclays Premiership, but the Manchester City defender is nothing if not ambitious.

He has been dismayed at the way the team have tailed off in the last few weeks of the season.

City are looking to improve on a dreadful run of results in the final game at Blackburn on Sunday.

Manager Stuart Pearce has seen his side lose eight of their last nine games in all competitions.

That single victory came at Aston Villa but was followed by back-to-back defeats against Fulham and Arsenal.

Richards said: 'We need to get some momentum going by beating Blackburn.

'We definitely feel as though we have under-achieved this season because before the Villa game we were going for Europe.

'Next season we need to be better and for longer.'

Self-confessed Arsenal fan Richards relished being put to the test against Thierry Henry.

The City full-back got a standing ovation from the fans after shadowing the ball out of play under pressure from the Frenchman.

Richards said: 'Playing against him was something different.

'He is different class and I enjoyed the challenge.

'Hopefully I will play against him a few more times in the future. I have surprised myself a bit this season and I want more of it.'

City midfielder Claudio Reyna is delighted at the impact his young team-mate is making.

The USA star said: 'Micah is tremendous and not only has great ability but a great attitude. He listens to all the senior players.

'Micah is a great athlete and in this league that goes a long way.

'He is versatile in that he can play in many positions and I am sure he has a great future.

'One of the best things is that he is level-headed and that is a real asset at his age.'

Sylvain Distin and Antoine Sibierski might come into contention for the match at Blackburn after missing the defeat by Arsenal because of knocks.