Belfast Telegraph

United are running scared, says Manchester City's Micah Richards

By Steven Beacom

Manchester City star Micah Richards today whipped up a storm ahead of Sunday’s derby with Manchester United by claiming the Red Devils are frightened of their Blue rivals.

The Old Trafford clash between the two Manchester clubs is the most eagerly awaited fixture so far this season with City on top of the Premier League, two points ahead of second placed United.

City are genuine title challengers and after last season’s FA Cup success will go to the home of the reigning champions without having to look at a famous banner designed by United fans that had taunted them for not winning a trophy in 35 years.

There is a clear sense amongst Roberto Mancini’s side that come May the ‘noisy neighbours’, as labelled by Sir Alex Ferguson, will have plenty to shout about.

“United now know, much as they won't say it, that we are a genuine threat to them,” said 23-year-old defender Richards.

“To get that banner down is quality — we have got the last laugh. We are not going out and saying we will win this game or that game, but they call us the noisy neighbours. I think they're a bit frightened.”

Richards adds that unlike previous years, City believe they have what it takes to win at Old Trafford.

“It used to be the case that we went to United and got battered every time but in the last year or two we have gone to United and sometimes looked the better team, on their own patch, so it shows how far we have come in a short space of time,” said Richards.

“We have improved a lot and want the ball down to play — in those days it was about getting 11 men behind the ball and defending, and if we got a chance we had to take it. That's what we did.

“If you speak to Mancini he wants to go there and win. People talked about us last season being boring and negative, but if you watch us now we are completely the opposite.”

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