Resolute Richards eyes Euro 2012 role
The 23-year-old won his 13th international cap in the 3-2 loss to Holland on Wednesday night, having made his debut back in 2006.
The versatile defender figured just once during Fabio Capello’s four-year reign as England boss, but looked at ease slipping back into action for the national side at Wembley, despite the last-gasp defeat at the hands of the 2010 World Cup runners-up.
And Richards is ready to put the disappointing period of his career behind him and prove he is deserving of a place in the 23-man squad at this summer European Championships.
"Now that I've played, I'll be honest and say it wasn't nice [not to get selected] especially when you play in a team that finished third in the Premier League last season," said Richards.
"We're top of the league now and, when you're still getting overlooked, it is hard but I've got the chance now again.
"Every player wants to play in the major tournaments and it's up to me now just to keep my form up for the rest of the season and, whoever the manager will be, hope they select me.
"I'm still a young lad trying to learn all the time but I'm delighted to be playing again for my country."
The Manchester City right-back confessed that making his first start for England in more than four years felt like a second debut for the national setup.
"It feels like I'm starting all over again, like another debut, after so long since I played for England," he added.
"It is over four years since I made a start and the last time I wore the shirt at Wembley was the second half in a friendly against France.
"Different managers like different players and all I can do is keep working hard and, if I do go on and win the league and my form is still good, then fingers crossed."