By 90Min
July 19, 2017

Versatile ​Cardiff City defender Jazz Richards has publicly discussed his happiness with his move to the Welsh capital; having previously played for their arch-rivals Swansea City. Richards joined the Bluebirds at the beginning of last season, after failing to impress at Fulham following three previous seasons out on loan with Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town.

Richards has flourished at the Cardiff City Stadium and made 28 appearances for Neil Warnock's side despite being out for eight weeks with a series of injuries early in the 2016-2017 season. Speaking to Wales Online, Richards discussed the inevitable issue of crossing the great divide between Swansea and Cardiff:

"The whole thing about moving from Swansea to Cardiff was easy for me. I was never one of those players who was disrespectful towards Cardiff, or supported Swansea over Cardiff. I just played the game and got on with it, it was easy for me to deal with.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Jazz Richards of Cardiff City during a pre-season match between Bournemouth and Cardiff City at Goldsands Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Joel Ford/Getty Images)
Joel Ford/GettyImages

"The response from Cardiff fans was great, all positive comments. I think being involved with Wales helped. There was obviously the gesture of doing the Ayatollah but that all blew over fairly quick and they know I'm here to play for them. They were very positive with me after that."

Richards thrived when given the opportunity to play first team football for Cardiff. The pacey right-back played for Wales in their unprecedented Euro 2016 campaign, which saw Chris Coleman's side reach the semi-final of the competition. Discussing his ambitions of playing for Wales again, Richards stated:

"I'm hoping to play again and get more games going forward. I've been in the squad for a few years now and I know those guys are really humble and down to earth. That's what makes it really easy. You feel part of the group, like they're your mates. For example, Gareth Bale is a really nice lad".

Richards is now focused on helping Wales to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the side will need to find their winning formula if they are to do so. Currently sitting in 3rd in Group D behind Serbia and the Republic of Ireland, Wales have drawn five out of six matches but remain unbeaten in the process. Contemplating the chances of qualification, Richards claimed:

"We can definitely do it. We've got more than a good team and we know our strengths. We put that into practice and we put that into reality out on the pitch. I think you've seen over the past few years how good we are as a team".

Cardiff City finished 12th in the Championship last season, 18 places off an all important play-off spot. The Welsh side will be desperate to return to the Premier League, and will have to up their game next season in an increasingly competitive league. The Bluebirds haven't played in the Premier League since 2014, when they finished rock bottom of the table with just 30 points.

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