Thursday, April 17, 2014
Goalkeeper John Ruddy has urged his Norwich City team-mates to take inspiration from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
The midfielder was on the verge of tears when the final whistle was blown at Anfield on Sunday, as the Reds secured a hugely important 3-2 win against title rivals Manchester City.
Gerrard, who is also set to captain England at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, pulled his team-mates into a huddle and drilled a passionate speech at them.
The 33-year-old could clearly be seen saying ‘we go for Norwich, just the same’ as the reality of a possible first English crown in 24 years began to set in for the Reds.
Standing in the way of that unexpected glory though, of course, are the Canaries at Carrow Road.
Ruddy said of Gerrard’s leadership: “What it says to me is not just how driven and how focussed, not just Steven Gerrard is, but how he wants the rest of his team to be that same way and when you are fighting for a Premier League title it is evident that confidence and focus is there.
“But we’ve got as much to lose, if not more, than they have. We’re scrapping for our lives and we all want to be Premier League footballers and at the end of the day, that is what it boils down to, how much do you want to be a Premier League footballer?
“How much do you want to play next year in games against Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal? Because if you don’t put in the performances in these last four games, it’s not going to happen.”
Sunday’s midday kick-off sees Liverpool looking for their 11th successive league win to at least maintain their two-point lead on Chelsea at the top of the table.
But Ruddy says the league leaders should not expect to enjoy their trip to Norfolk.
“In 2014 we’ve only conceded two goals at home and one of those was a penalty,” Ruddy told Norwich City TV. “So if you can’t be buoyed by the performances that we’ve had recently at home, they you won’t get up for any.
“Certainly the crowd play a massive part and they’ve been with us all season through the thick and thin. They turned out in their droves on Saturday at Fulham and to replicate that on Sunday will see us through I hope.”