The England star said: "I think it is important to play regularly at club level to help you with England. I think it is vital. If you are playing week in and week out, you are getting the best performances out of yourself.
"When you go to a big club, a top four side, and you seem to be rested 10 games out of 20, as a youngster like me coming through I don't think that is ideal.
"That was an influence in my decision to stay at Manchester City. I was playing week in and week out and I still am playing week in and week out. That is important for me now.
"I always have my dad by my side for guidance and he said 'I think you are better off staying where you are to go forward with your England career'."
Richards impressed at right-back in the recent friendly international against Germany and set up England's goal for Frank Lampard.
He said: "If I am playing 100%, I feel I am doing well enough to stay in there. I know Gary Neville is a legend but the way I see it is if you are playing well, you should keep your place.
"I don't see it as a case of myself just keeping the right-back place warm for him. I feel I've done well enough to stay in. But it is up to the manager to decide."