Richards: I would love to see Tevez back
Yesterday's disappointing 1-0 defeat at Swansea City saw Roberto Mancini's team surrender pole position for the first time since 15 October, as rivals Manchester United secured a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion to go top. It was the Swans' 11th clean sheet of the season, but also marked their opponents' second consecutive failure to find the net following the midweek UEFA Europa League loss to Sporting.
And while Richards believes City have the mental strength to bounce back and claim the title, he says they need to find their shooting boots quickly to keep themselves in touch.
"We have to take every game as it comes," said the England defender. "We need to go back and see where we went wrong, and why we are not scoring as many goals as we used to.
"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 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 UEFA Champions League defeat by 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 ten days away from being available for selection. And Richards admits he would "love" to see Tevez leading City's attack again.
"I have always been a big fan of Tevez, I love him," he said. "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."
Target change for Vorm
Swansea's stunning victory, which follows wins over Arsenal and draws against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur 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," said the Dutchman. "Our main goal was to stay in the Premier League but with ten matches to go, and four home games, we really have the quality to go higher.
"If we can make the top ten it would be fantastic achievement. Like I say, our main goal was to stay in the league but with 36 points and ten matches to go, it is not going to be a problem. Maybe we could change our goal and the top ten is possible.
"We thoroughly deserved the win, we defended very well. We kept compact, frustrated them, and they didn't find the space. It's a big achievement to do that against a team like that, and this is one of the best results of the season."