Sport

Manchester City’s Micah Richards hopes for Olympic cure to Euro blues with former boss Stuart Pearce

By Matt Simpson

Micah Richards is looking forward to reuniting with his former boss Stuart Pearce for Team GB tonight after missing out on a place in England’s Euro 2012 squad.

Despite having an excellent season and winning the Premier League title with City, England boss Roy Hodgson omitted the defender from his squad in favour of Liverpool’s Glen Johnson.

It was a decision that was met with disappointment by him and England fans alike, yet one he has since accepted.

He said: “This shows that football is always about opinions. I can’t really argue with anything – I just have to get on with it.”

Richards has now turned his attention to the Olympics after being selected as one of the three over 23-year-old players in Stuart Pearce’s Team GB squad.

Thrilled to be working under Pearce again after spending several years working with him at City and England U21s, he is excited to be taking part in such an extraordinary and prestigious tournament.

He added: “As a footballer, you want to play in the Euros and World Cups – this is just an added bonus, something different and something that will never happen again. To be part of it is just amazing.

“Stuart Pearce gave me my debut at Manchester City. I’ve got so much respect for him and I want to give my all for a man who always wanted to give me a chance.”

Dismissing the ‘happy to be there’ attitude, he also believes that Team GB has a good chance of doing well in the competition despite only having two weeks for players from all over the UK to gel.

As a player who has progressed through several of the England age groups, he is familiar with certain members of the squad and having played against Arsenal, Manchester United and Swansea City, Richards is fully aware of the talents of the Welsh contingent.

Although insisting that the squad will be determined to impress at the Olympics, the defender concedes that there are some other very good teams who will be just as serious about finishing on the podium.

“It looks like the team that Brazil has brought means that they’re really going for it. It’s going to be a highlight – you always want to play Brazil and I think Spain have brought a good team too,” he added.

Team GB will begin their London 2012 campaign at Old Trafford tonight, followed by Wembley Stadium on Sunday July 29 and their final group game will be at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday August 1.

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