Fulham midfielder Kieran Richardson hopes his goalscoring cameo at Southampton before the international break was enough to earn him his first home start against Aston Villa tomorrow.

The former Man United and England midfielder came off the bench at St Mary’s to score his first goal for Fulham.

It looked like being the winner until he marred his afternoon by giving away the free kick from which Saints grabbed a last-gasp equaliser.

“I’m really happy that I’ve got my first goal now and hopefully it’s the first of many,” Richardson said.

“It’s always good to start well with a new club and my first goal will help. Hopefully I did enough to impress the manager and I can start against Aston Villa, make my full home debut and hopefully crack on from there.

“I want to show the fans what I can do. I’ve been working hard with the physios and the fitness coaches, getting my levels up.

“I was disappointed with my first showing at West Ham. Maybe it was a bit too soon for me because my fitness wasn’t up to the right levels.”

Richardson believes Villa are ideal opponents both for him and the Whites right now, and says they are the type of team Fulham need to beat to fulfil their ambitions.

“They’ve been going through a bit of a tough spell, so hopefully we can get at them,” said the 27-year-old. “

At home we’re very, very strong. We want to improve on last season and you’ve got the players here to do that.

“You want to be pushing for that Europe spot. Obviously we don’t want to get carried away with ourselves, but with the team we’ve got, we can do anything we want.”