"We all looked at each other wondering what he was talking about but we came in as 1-0 winners.
"Sven gives you that belief. He makes you believe you are the best, that you can go out and play football with no fear."
Richards, whose City side visit Fulham today, added: "People don't understand how good Sven is.
"He is out there on the training ground and while Stuart Pearce was more of a shouter, when Sven says something you know what he means and you get on with it.
"Sven is always smiling but when he speaks he means business.
"When you look at his club record no one can argue with it.
"Getting stick when you are England manager goes with the job but people forget he had a good record."