• Premier League

Mancini: Maicon won't force Micah out

ESPN staff
September 15, 2012
Roberto Mancini: 'I trust Micah Richards 100%' © PA Photos

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has insisted Micah Richards remains an integral part of his plans, despite the arrival of Maicon.

Mancini was reunited with the Brazil right-back, who he signed for Inter Milan from Monaco in 2006, on transfer deadline day.

It means the Italian now has three specialist right-backs, including Pablo Zabaleta, who displaced Richards from the team at the end of last season.

But the Italian said that 2010 Champions League winner Maicon can play in the same side as Richards if the Englishman is used as one of three central defenders and the Brazilian operates as a wing-back.

It is a system City have used against Chelsea and Liverpool already and Mancini said that Richards, who is currently sidelined by an ankle injury, is likely to feature regularly on his return.

"It changes nothing because I trust Micah 100%," Mancini said. "This year we've changed and play three and two wide and I think maybe Micah can play right centre back.

"Micah has been injured for 40 days. He can play right-back, right central defender and this year I think we probably play more games than last year and we need to have one or two players more."

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