The Eastlands side finished four points clear of the drop zone last term under Stuart Pearce, although the side managed only 29 goals - including just two at home this year.
City have now brought in former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson and Richards believes there are exciting times ahead under new owner Thaksin Shinawatra.
"We need a fresh start and to get a winning mentality in the side so we can really push on and have an enjoyable season," Richards stated.
"We want to have a real go at it. We've got a new manager, new players and staff and new ideas.
"It's a really exciting period for everyone connected with the club. We took a lot of stick last season.
"Sven's got the money and he's certainly got the knowledge - it's all about fighting the right blend now.
"With the new squad members and management in place, there's no reason why we can't finish in the top ten or eight."