Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kieran Wants to Be in the Goals

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kieran Wants to Be in the Goals

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

KIERAN Richardson admits he is under pressure trying to prove his worth as a central midfielder to one of that best players in that position of recent years. But the 23-year-old hopes to repay Roy Keane's faith by out-scoring the Irishman.

Richardson's versatility has seen him used in a variety of positions during his fledgling career, but it is as an attacking central midfielder where he would most like to carve out a living.

To do that the England international needs to improve his goal output and Richardson has set himself a target of "nine or 10" for the campaign.

The best haul Keane managed in a glittering career was eight league goals in a season before injuries caused him to modify his box-to-box style.

On more than one occasion the Black Cats manager has publicly expressed doubts over whether Richardson's tackling merits a regular berth in the engine room, but he nevertheless selected him there against Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Londoner is conscious of living up to Keane's demanding standards but welcomes another opportunity to learn from his former Manchester United team-mate.

"He was one of the best central midfielders of all time so he knows what he's talking about and anything he says I take into consideration," he said.

"I feel I can do a job in that central position but I'll do whatever job I'm given as long as I'm playing for Sunderland.

"In the centre of midfield I've got to tackle more but winning the ball, being competitive, comes naturally to me so I'm enjoying it.

"I want to get more goals - I've had some positions already this season when I could have scored and you've got to take your chances in the Premier League. I want to hit nine or 10 this season but getting assists and playing well for the team is important too."

The competition for places at Sunderland has moved up a notch or two after an influx of midfielders but Richardson is pleased to see so many good players eyeing his place. …

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