Micah Richards has been one of Manchester City's star performers this season, helping the Barclays Premier League leaders race into a five-point lead at the top of the table.

Despite the 23-year-old defender's impressive displays down the right flank for Roberto Mancini's side, Richards has been overlooked for international recognition, failing to convince England manager Fabio Capello of his Three Lions credentials.

However, former Citizens boss and current England U21 manager Stuart Pearce has urged the flying full-back not to give up hope as he bids to stake a claim for a place in this summer's squad for Euro 2012.

"Micah is one of those who came on the scene and had an incredible meteoric rise," said Pearce. "His career stopped a little bit, then it went up again and this season his performances have been really strong.

"I speak with Micah regularly and my advice to him is you just have to keep at it. Your performances at club level will keep putting pressure on the England manager if you are consistent enough, [and] there is no doubt he has improved this season."

Capello shocked many by failing to include Richards in his experimental England squad for the recent friendlies against Spain and Sweden, but Pearce, who is part of the Italian tactician's coaching set-up, believes the City star will add to his 12 international caps if he maintains his sparkling form.

"He is playing for a club who are owned by multi-millionaires, the richest club in the world," he added.

"He's keeping his place in the first team, [and] that tells you something."

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Micah Richards