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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 14:07 GMT
Micah Richards column
Micah Richards
By Micah Richards
Manchester City and England defender

I was sorry to see Steve McClaren sacked as England manager but, after we failed to qualify for Euro 2008, I wasn't shocked.

The players definitely thought he was the right man for the job but when you are England manager you get assessed on results.

After what happened on Wednesday, people are going to think 'why should we keep him?' but I am sad to see him go.

David Beckham consoles Micah Richards after England's defeat by Croatia
I feel for the fans who witnessed the Croatia game at Wembley. The players know they are gutted but we are as well and it really hurts

He gave me my England debut and for someone to pick a defender for England at 18, like he did with me, takes balls.

I feel sorry for him that results did not go his way because it is not just me that likes him - all the lads do.

It is not easy to come into the England set-up at that age but Steve made me feel welcome and he put me on the map.

I haven't spoken to him yet but I will send him a text in the next week or so when things cool down a bit to tell him thanks for everything he did for me.

There have been lots of names put forward to replace him, some of them English, some British and some foreign.

The English like things done the English way, but maybe you can look elsewhere and just look at a manager's status, rather than where they come from.

We will have to see, but to me it doesn't really matter as long as whoever gets the job can drive us forward, like McClaren planned to.

I still can't believe what happened in our defeat by Croatia. I thought I felt bad after Manchester City's 6-0 defeat by Chelsea in October, but you can multiply that by 10 - I was just devastated.

I feel for the fans who witnessed that at Wembley. The players know they are gutted but we are as well and it really hurts.

I had some texts after the game saying 'unlucky' but I didn't want to hear that. We had just lost and we were out of the European Championship.

I felt sorry for Scott Carson because people don't see behind the scenes and he has been England's best goalkeeper in training for the last month.

People asked why McClaren put him in but we don't go training for nothing, we go to show what we can do.

Scotty had done that, and has been in great form for Villa this season, but he was unfortunate with the first goal and kept us in it with some good saves. He showed character and that is why he will come back from this.


Where did it go wrong? Well, I can't say we were unlucky because we weren't. We got beaten by the better team which is upsetting because we were at home in front of nearly 90,00 fans.

The players have to take as much responsibility as the manager for what happened.

Because we only needed a draw I think we got a little bit complacent. There were nerves too, which normally go after the first whistle.

When we went 2-0 down, we all knew - well I knew - that if we got the first goal when we came back out we would get it back to 2-2.

But when we did equalise we seemed to take our foot off the gas which was a bad idea and we were punished.

There are plenty of 'ifs, buts and maybes' - it's gone now - but there were players out there who didn't perform and I will hold my hand up as being one of them.

The thing is with England is that we have such good players but we don't really seem to play to the best of our abilities and I don't know why.

We've got some of the best players in the world and we seem to do it every week for the clubs, it's just disappointing that we can't do it for our country.

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