Manchester City may still have a four-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, but with elimination from two cup competitions and the absences of key players, it's fair to say it's been a rather damaging month.

However, Micah Richards insists the players are staying positive and has backed Roberto Mancini's men to stay strong in the face of adversity, as they look to land another trophy this year.

Citizens captain Vincent Kompany has missed the last four games through suspension, and Mario Balotelli has just begun the same punishment after being found guilty of an alleged stamp on Scott Parker.

Add to that the absence of Ivorian duo Yaya and Kolo Toure who are away on African Cup of Nations duty, and it's clear to see the depth of Mancini's squad is being tested.

"Obviously Mario is suspended but we have got a boost now with Vinny coming back," Richards is quoted by Sky Sports. "We have other stuff going on as well but we will keep strong and we will look forward to our next game, which is Everton. We will go there and try to get a win."

City's FA Cup elimination at the hands of Manchester United means that they now have a free weekend, before returning to domestic action at Goodison Park on Tuesday.

In Kompany's absence, Richards was appointed stand-in skipper, and whilst he enjoyed the experience, he admits he will be more than happy to hand the armband back to the Belgian stopper.

"It is an honour being captain for Man City and I am gutted I couldn't lead us to a final, but I am happy Vinny is coming back and normal service will be resumed."

Topics:
#Manchester City
#Premier League
#Micah Richards
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