Goal-shy City need Tevez - Richards
Defender Micah Richards says Manchester City need to rediscover their goalscoring touch if they are to win the Barclays Premier League - and hopes Carlos Tevez will soon return to make a difference.
Sunday's disappointing 1-0 defeat to Swansea saw City surrender top spot for the first time since October 15, as rivals Manchester United secured a 2-0 win over West Brom. It was Swansea's 11th clean sheet, but also marked City's second-consecutive failure to find the net following the midweek Europa League defeat to Sporting Lisbon.
England right-back Richards, who had a late equaliser ruled out for offside, admits Roberto Mancini's side must rectify their attacking woes if they are to clinch the domestic title, and he said: "We have to take every game as it comes. We need to go back and see where we went wrong here and why we are not scoring as many goals as we used to."
He added: "Teams are defending better against us. At the start of the season we were scoring, four, five or six goals a game but in the last two games we have not hit the net and it is something we want to look at and improve on in the next couple of games."
One man who could be the answer to City's search for goals is Tevez, who is closing in on a return to first-team action, having not played since his infamous refusal to warm-up during the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich in September.
The Argentinian spent several months away from the club but is now back in training having patched up his relationship with Mancini, and the manager has said he is around 10 days away from being available for selection.
"I have always been a big fan of Tevez, I love him," said Richards. "There were games last season where he carried us on his own and in these sort of games he would get a 1-0 win for us. It's up to the manager ultimately but I would love to see him back."
Swansea's stunning victory, which follows wins over Arsenal and draws against Chelsea and Tottenham on home soil, moved them up to 11th in the table, 14 points clear of the relegation zone.
Having been widely tipped for the drop before the start of the season, goalkeeper Michel Vorm believes the Swans can even start to dream of a top-half finish.
"We already have 36 points. Our main goal was to stay in the Premier League but with 10 matches to go, and four home games, we really have the quality to go higher," he said. "If we can make the top 10 it would be fantastic achievement."