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Oct 24, 2010

City star Richards responds to Ireland attack

Micah Richards has made light of Stephen Ireland's criticism of Manchester City's young players following the midfielder's move to Aston Villa over the summer.

Ireland joined Villa in the deal that took James Milner to City and quickly accused some members of the City squad of being complacent, saying: "They're coming in with £10,000 watches on their wrists and walking around as if they have played 200 Premier League games."

However, Richards says Ireland has been guilty of the odd indulgence himself, and believes his former team-mate's comments were not a true reflection of his feelings.

"I don't think he really meant the majority of stuff he said," Richards told The Observer. "I think he was under pressure with questions.

"I don't think there are any with £10,000 watches, I think that was a bit extreme. But it's become part of football nowadays. Everybody likes a nice house and a nice car and nice things. As long as you're working hard on the pitch, I don't think it matters really.

"Didn't Stephen have a Bentley worth 300 grand which he had done in pink for his missus? Plus his white Audi R8 with a superman logo? He likes a bit of bling himself, so I don't think he's really got room to talk."

Richards' own attitude has been questioned in the past but the defender is enjoying regular football under Roberto Mancini this season. While players such as Robinho and Carlos Tevez have previously questioned the Italian's hard training regime, Richards believes it is conducive to success.

"He keeps his distance from players - some managers do that," Richards said. "But he still gets his point across. He doesn't keep himself apart in a negative way, more in a positive way: he's the head and what he says goes. I think that's the way to get respect, especially when you have world stars as City have now.

"He sets the standard, and you get the detail from other people. That's what Brian Kidd and David Platt [Mancini's assistants] are here for. If we need to ask anything, they speak English; the manager's learning to speak English, so sometimes it's hard for him to get the point across in the way that he'd like to.

"But on the training pitch, he's very involved, he's a good coach. He's taught me a lot since he's been here. That's his style of management, some like it, some don't. But I think if you want to get places, you need to get under his wing and do what he says."

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