Micah Richards: How to stay headstrong

Having a stinker? Focus on putting the team first, says Aston Villa’s powerhouse full-back

“I’m a confidence player, which is great when I’m playing well, but lately I’ve been having a few mares at left-back. How can I move on?”
Ashley Still, via email

More after the break

Micah Richards says:

“You’re not always going to play well and every player knows when they’re not having a good game.

It’s harder for a defender. If a striker plays badly but scores, everyone says, ‘He’s had an great game’; if you get skinned five times as a defender but make one vital challenge, everyone still says, ‘You got skinned!’

If someone says, ‘Richards had a bad game’, it hurts – I can’t sleep. But I try to stay calm and forget the last performance. I focus on giving 110 per cent in the next game. It’s the same on the pitch: if you’re not playing well, you must focus on working hard for the team.

It helps if the boss evaluates your performances – that’s what Roberto Mancini does. You can look at where you went wrong and work in training to improve. Don’t dwell on mistakes; learn from them.”

Micah is an ambassador for If U Care Share, a charity that encourages young people to discuss their problems: www.ifucareshare.co.uk

For more football tips see:
How to bounce back from a mistake
Ashley Cole: Mental toughness
Positive mental attitude
Gary Neville: Become a master of mentality
Mikel Arteta's guide to mental toughness

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