December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Mark Bunn has made a promising start to his Norwich City career – and aims to continue easing the long-term injury absence of England goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Bunn’s arrival in August as back-up to Ruddy looked an excellent piece of business with his comfortable debut in October’s League Cup victory over Tottenham.
And it now looks to be an excellent piece of foresight from Canaries boss Chris Hughton, following the torn thigh muscle Ruddy sustained at Everton last month.
The England stopper successfully underwent surgery on Saturday and will now begin his three-month road to recovery – 24 hours later, Bunn was playing his part in City’s robust 2-1 victory over Sunderland. Now the 28-year-old former Blackburn man hopes he can make his mark.
“I have been working hard on my career and now it’s my time to show people what I can do and hopefully I can just do that now and I get a run in the team, and just take my chance,” said the City keeper.
“Obviously John has done well here and the fans think a lot of him, but I have confidence in what I can do and I just want to show the fans what I can do and then hopefully they can take to me – and obviously winning games will help do that.
“It was fantastic on Sunday – and noisy. The fans were brilliant and I got a good reception from them, so hopefully I can keep doing well for them.”
It remains to be seen whether Hughton will opt to bring in further goalkeeper cover while Ruddy is sidelined, with 21-year-old Declan Rudd on the bench against the Black Cats and 20-year-old Jed Steer currently on loan at Cambridge United. But either way, Bunn admitted the pressure has not eased due to getting his shot at filling Ruddy’s gloves.
“Not at all, because obviously if you’re not doing it they will get someone else in who will take your place – it’s as simple as that,” said Bunn.
“So I’m just going to work hard, keeping working on the training pitch with the goalkeeping coach, keep doing what I’m doing every game and hopefully get better with every game.”
That will be a challenge in itself for City, whose current nine-game unbeaten run will be severely tested at Swansea on Saturday before travelling to West Brom and hosting Manchester City, Chelsea and Wigan before December is out.
“We have got a tough game at Swansea coming up, but we had tough games at Everton and Southampton as well where we did very well, so hopefully we can keep this run going,” added Bunn.
“The lads feel very good at the minute but we have got to keep at it because if you start feeling comfortable in games, then and that is when you will probably lose and concede goals. So you have just got to keep at ease in each game and try to do well.
“We’re not conceding many goals and it’s a settled side, and the current run we’re on is almost unheard of. The lads are doing brilliantly.”
This year has seen Ruddy break into Roy Hodgson’s England squad, and Bunn hopes impressing with Norwich can lead to similar international honours with the Republic of Ireland.
Despite being born in London, Bunn would qualify to play for Giovanni Trapattoni’s side through his father and grandmother – and there may be a space for him too, following the summer retirement of long-standing number one Shay Given.
“It is one of my aims to try and break into the Republic of Ireland squad and if the opportunity arose I would definitely be interested in playing for them,” added Bunn.
“I think every player wants to play international football and play at the highest level and I am no different. I believe the goalkeeping spot with the Republic is up for grabs really since Shay retired. Keiren Westwood is first choice at the minute, but he is not playing regularly for Sunderland.
“I now have a run of games in the Norwich team and it is a good time for me to show what I can do and impress hopefully.”
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.