Date: 15th June 2009 at 10:53pm
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England started brightly with Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole giving his side the lead early on in the game, before Finland equalised from the penalty spot through captain Tim Sparv after Chelsea’s Michael Mancienne saw red.

Down to ten men, England needed something inspirational as they struggled to test the Finnish keeper.

It was Manchester City’s much coveted Micah Richards who broke the deadlock, the powerful defender powering home an impressive header in the second-half with what would be the winning goal.

Earlier in the year Richards was dropped from the senior England squad and stated his determination to win back his place.

Richards said: ‘It does hurt when the England team get together and I want to get back in that squad, but only I can sort that out now.

‘My confidence is back. I have been getting some stick this season but I never lost the belief that I could contribute fully to the team or stopped trying my best.

‘I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t hurt me when I was dropped from the England side.

‘I feel I was a little unlucky to get an injury at the wrong time and then Wes Brown and Glen Johnson both came in and did a fine job.

‘It has been hard for me to get back in.

‘Football though works in funny ways and I might get a chance in similar circumstances and then it is up to me to show the manager what I can do.

‘It is up to me to fight my way back into the England side.’

20-year-old Richards will be hoping that his latest performance will be noticed by England manager Fabio Capello, who recently stated: ‘We haven’t got in England a right-back.

‘[Richards] has had some problems in his team, he has played sometimes but missed some games.

‘For me, I know him because he was with me once, he is young and not ready for the seniors now.’

Is Richards ready to step up? To have your say and see what others are saying, click here.

 

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