IN HIS mind, the goal still stands for Ben Richards-Everton.

After all, it’s not every day that you score against the champions of Europe – even if an eagle-eyed assistant’s flag cut off the celebrations mid-scream.

“I look back and it was clearly onside,” smiled City’s imposing centre half. “I still say in my head that it was a goal.

“Those things happen, especially at our level when you don’t have VAR to look back at the goals.

“I was still happy that I scored against the European champions – but sadly it was ruled out.”

Even against Liverpool, a disallowed effort in a pre-season friendly is small beer. But it showed that attacking set-pieces should be another string to the former Accrington defender’s bow.

Richards-Everton has already demonstrated his considerable presence at one end of the pitch. A powerhouse effort under a Stevenage barrage was backed up by a man-of-the-match effort amid the frustration of last week’s Forest Green loss.

But the onus is there to stamp his authority on the opposition box. Gary Bowyer’s call for all areas of the team to contribute to the goals tally has not fallen on deaf ears.

Richards-Everton appreciates that size should matter when City go up for corners.

He added: “Most of our players are over six foot, so we should definitely be scoring at set-plays.

“I want to add goals to my game, especially with my height. I should be a threat every time when I go forward.

“We’ve been working in training on attacking headers and getting into the box and we’re trying to put it into practice.

“We’ve got a big team this year and a lot of players that can contribute with goals. It’s not just down to our attacking players.

“When we do have corners or set-plays, it’s important we do our best to get on the end of them. We should at least get a shot on target and look to work the keeper.”

Bowyer wants his team to play out from the back when they can. It’s something that sits comfortably with a centre half who grew up idolising Rio Ferdinand.

That might sound sacrilege for a born-and-bred Aston Villa fan given a certain Paul McGrath but Richards-Everton’s true hero was strutting his stuff with Manchester United.

McGrath was a brilliant player obviously,” he said. “But Rio Ferdinand was the kind of player I looked up to.

“I loved the way Rio played the game, stepped out with the ball and attacked it.

“He was very good in possession. Probably (Virgil) van Dijk is the closest to that now.

“I aspire to play like that – I know it’s a lot to live up to.

“I like to get the ball off the keeper and try and play. But that’s not always easy to do in League Two.

“It’s more defend first and then if you do get the occasion to step out with it, then I definitely try and do it. In this league, it’s more about doing your job first and helping others out.”

Richards-Everton admits City as a team are still finding their feet in the first month of a long campaign.

“We’re still gelling at the minute. It’s a very new group and we’re trying to take on as much information and getting to know each other as quickly as we can.

“The size of the club is obviously very different to what I was used to at Accrington. The stadium speaks for itself.

“We’ve seen that a lot of teams are going to look to play the crowd against us. We have to show we can stand up to that and be strong.

“But the buzz you have as a player is amazing when the fans are so loud.

“The excitement of the celebrations when we have scored gives us an insight into how it’s going to be when we really do get going.”