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Richards ready for 'showdown talks'

After being left out of the sixteen for yesterdays draw at Anfield, the Mirror today suggests this could lead to a head to head between Richard and Mark Hughes:

Micah Richards will this week have showdown talks with Manchester City boss Mark Hughes after being axed from the squad to face Liverpool yesterday.

The England defender was stunned to be told he had been left out of the 16 players on duty for the 2-2 draw. And Sunday Mirror Sport has been told by a source close to the 21-year-old that Richards will this week demand assurances from Hughes that he remains part of his plans.

The source said: "Micah expected to be involved at Liverpool and feels that he is being unfairly blamed for some of the team’s defensive problems this season.

It is long rumoured that Richard's attitude has not endeared himself to Hughes and the coaching staff and the return to fitness (and versatility) of Nedum Onouha has likely seen him drop even further down the pecking order.

With reports of Hughes unhappy with the options in this area and looking to strengthen in January, this could see Richards even further away from a recall to the side.

If (as also reported) he is offloaded, it would cap a huge fall from grace for a player who was a couple of years touted as England's hottest prospect and set for a big money move.