The 25-year-old has been installed as Sunderland's premier left-back by manager Steve Bruce despite some initial reluctance from Richardson, who had favoured a central midfield role.
He said: "I played there a bit last season and it has taken me a bit of time to get my head around the position. I thought it was just a defensive role, but in the modern game, full-backs are just as attacking as anyone on the pitch.
"I watched the World Cup and saw the way guys like Maicon were bombing forward - and I thought 'I can do that'.
"Steve Bruce likes me playing there because I'm quick and in today's game, a lot of wingers are especially quick, so in that sense I can match them.
"I did need a bit of convincing by him, but I talked about it with and my Dad and I'm really enjoying it now. I'm learning the basics of defending, my positional sense has improved and I'm getter better in the role."