Micah Richards: 'My belief was shattered at Manchester City'

Manchester City's Micah Richards in action during the match against Wigan on April 17, 2013
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Micah Richards admits that his "belief was shattered" at Manchester City when he was made out to be the "scapegoat" during last season's FA Cup match against Watford.

Micah Richards has admitted that his belief was "shattered" at Manchester City after he was made to be the "scapegoat" following an FA Cup match last season.

The 26-year-old, who made his senior debut in 2005 after coming through the youth ranks at City, moved to Serie A side Fiorentina on loan in the summer.

The full-back, who dropped down the rankings under both Roberto Mancini and current manager Manuel Pellegrini, has been frank about his time at the North-West club since moving to Italy.

During an interview with The Guardian, Richards recalls the moment when he was pulled off at half time while 2-0 down against Watford in an FA Cup match, which City went on to win 4-2 back in January last season.

"I've not always played well for City, but I'd never been the scapegoat, coming off at half time when in my head I thought I was having a decent game," Richards told the newspaper. "It was weird, unnatural, it had never happened to me before and it felt like no matter what I did it wasn't good enough any more. That was a turning point.

"The manager did try to explain it to me. He said he didn't want to rush my fitness, but I wasn't playing in the Premier League, I wasn't playing in the Champions League, so at least, in the FA Cup against Watford at home, give me 90 minutes. After that, my belief was shattered."

Richards made his debut for Fiorentina in last night's 3-0 win over Guingamp in the Europa League.

Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben celebrates scoring during the extra-time of the DFB German Cup final football match BVB Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on May 17, 2014
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