Micah Richards has criticised Roberto Mancini’s decision to switch to a three-man defence in Manchester City’s 3-1 loss to Ajax.
City manager Mancini made the switch with scores level in the second half of the Champions League clash but promptly saw his side concede twice in 10 minutes, leaving them rooted to the bottom of Group D with just one point from three matches.
City have switched to a 3-5-2 system on several occasions this season, but Richards revealed the players are not comfortable playing in the formation, due to a lack of practice in training.
“It is something that we’ve not worked on a lot,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’re used to a straight four and it’s twice we’ve gone to a back five and conceded, but the manager likes it and if we want to do well we’re going to have to work on it a little bit more.
“The players just want to play. It’s a hard system because we’re not used to it but I think the players prefer a 4-4-2 but he’s the manager and we do what he says.”
Richards praised Ajax’s performance but admitted City were expecting to win in the Dutch capital.
Defeat leaves City able to reach a maximum of 10 points, the same total they finished on last season when they eliminated from the competition at the group stage.
“I think we got beat by a very good Ajax side tonight,” he said.
“First half, when we went 1-0 up, they were probably the better team.
“But in the second half we just crumbled. Very disappointed with the lads’ performance tonight.
“After last season when we got 10 points but didn’t get through and when we got drawn this group, we knew it was going to be a tough one.
“But we were disappointing today, I thought we were going to come here and get the three points but it’s not to be. We’ll come in tomorrow and we’ll see where the group’s at.
“It’s hard because, no disrespect to Ajax but you want to come here and win. We didn’t do that tonight, but we’ll look to the next game and see what we can do.”