Micah Richards wants to use his performance against Slovenia as a platform back into the Senior set-up.
International Under-21 Friendly
7.45pm, Tuesday 19 August 2008
KC Stadium, Hull City FC
Micah Richards is confident he has the capabilities to force his way back into the Senior England set-up following his Man of the Match performance for the Under-21s in their win against Slovenia on Tuesday.
Richards scored England's equaliser in the 2-1 victory at Hull City's KC Stadium and following his dominant performance in both attack and defence, the Manchester City defender says he is eager to impress the England management and push for a return to the Senior side.
"It was my first international match for a while following my knee injury last season which was a bit frustrating, but I am back now for the Under-21s and I want to push all I can to get up to the Seniors," he said.
"I want to take my performance and kick on and hopefully the England Manager has seen this game and will know what I can do.
"I always want to be knocking on the door, but my injury last year knocked me back. All I can do is give 100 per cent and try and get back in his side.
"People have definitely not seen the best of me. Nobody has," he added.
The 20-year-old has eleven full England caps and argued that a return to the Under-21s should not be seen as a demotion following his time with the Senior squad and that he was delighted to represent his country regardless of the level.
"You come to play a Under-21 game and that is really all that matters," he said. "I treat every game as a cup final. I have to treat every game the same and give 100 per cent because this is a big year for me."
His performance also delighted manager Stuart Pearce who said Richards was a good example to all players coming back down from the full international side to the Under-21s.
"The thing that has impressed me the most has been his attitude," Pearce said.
"I think sometimes there is speculation that when a players drops down from the Seniors they won't be motivated to play in the Under-21s but that is not the case with him.
"His was the expected reacition and it should be the norm. We shouldn't be surprised by it and I wasn't," he added.
Joe Lewis (Tom Heaton, 46), Micah Richards (Martin Cranie, 73), Andrew Taylor, Tom Huddlestone (Fabrice Muamba, 61), Michael Mancienne, Nedum Onuoha (David Wheater, 84), Aaron Lennon (Adam Johnson, 73), Mark Noble, Matt Derbyshire, Michael Johnson (Fraizer Campbell, 61), James Milner (c) (Michael Kightly, 46)
Subs not used Craig Gardner, Gabriel Agbonlahor
Coach Stuart Pearce
Matjaz Rozman, Erik Salkic, Tadej Apatic, Rok Elsner (c), Aleksander Rajcevic, Uros Korun, Goran Cvijanovic, Mitja Viler, Tim Matavz, Nejc Pecnik, Etien Velikonja
Substitutes Jan Koprivec, Nik Omladic, Rene Mihelic, Boris Mijatovic, Armin Bacinovic, Roman Bezjak, Vito Plut
Coach Tomaz Kavcic
Referee Abby Toussaint (Lux)
Assistants Francis Crelo and Francois Mangen (Lux)
Fourth Official Michael Oliver (Eng)
Nationwide Man of the Match Micah Richards
Tickets are on sale now for the match against Portugal at Wembley Stadium on Friday 5 September with most seats costing just £10 for adults and £5 for children from the Hotline 0844 826 2010 or via The FA ticketing site where further information can be found including details of group booking discounts.