City academy product has no regrets over leaving the Etihad

Manchester City loanee Micah Richards has backed his decision to join Fiorentina, claiming Manuel Pellegrini had ‘lost faith’ in his abilities.

The occasional England international is still on the books at the Etihad but joined the Serie A outfit on a season-long loan during the summer, having made just seven Premier League outings for the reigning champions over the last two years – a result of persistent injury problems combined with the impeccable form of Pablo Zabaleta.

“Signing a new contract with City would have been the easy way out,” the 26 year-old right-back recently told the BBC.

“It is the club closest to my heart. I would love to stay there. But ultimately it comes down to how much you play. After I got injured, Pablo Zabaleta established himself as the number one right-back. And I hold my hands up, he did well.

“But there comes a time in your career where you have to do what is best for you. Coming here was the right decision.

“[Pellegrini] brought me off in the FA Cup against Watford,” he added.

“We were losing, I thought I was having a decent game. Not amazing. Not bad, but I wasn’t the worst player on the pitch by any stretch.

“And he brought me off at half-time and brought a right-back, Pablo Zabaleta, on. No disrespect, a right-back isn’t going to change the game. At that point, I thought maybe he has lost a bit of faith in me.”

Richards has gone on to make just three league appearances for the Florence outfit however.