"The biggest influence on me so far has to be Richard Dunne," said Richards.
"He has been amazing with me. When I first came into the team at City, I was playing right-back. But the second season, I played 15 or 20 games at centre-half alongside Richard. He was always moving me into the right positions.
"I am still only young and I tend to be chasing people all over the place sometimes. I am still learning the position and Richard has given me the confidence to go out there and believe in myself.
"I also have to give a lot of credit to Stuart Pearce for being where I am today. It takes a lot of guts for a manager to give you your first-team debut at 17. It was just wonderful."