Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Norwich City’s on-loan keeper Declan Rudd is learning all about life in the lower leagues during a turbulent stint at League One club Preston.
Rudd made his Lilywhites’ debut in a 3-1 defeat at Yeovil last week that was to prove manager Graham Westley’s final match in charge at Deepdale.
The City academy product, who also made his England U21 bow earlier this month in a 4-0 friendly win over Sweden’s U21s, retained his Preston place for a winning home debut against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Preston have since unveiled former Leeds and Huddersfield boss Simon Grayson as their new manager and Rudd is determined to remain a permanent fixture during the rest of his spell which runs until the end of the current season.
“It’s been good. I have enjoyed it and I have been working hard in training,” he said. “I’ve got to know the lads and they are a great bunch of boys. Everyone helps each other out and it is a great place to be. It has gone well. Results may not have gone our way, but I don’t think we are far off it. I was really pleased to get the first one under my belt (at Yeovil).
“I am here to train, get some games and help the team if I can. The gaffer makes the decisions and whatever he feels is right you accept.
“Every team and club wants to be successful. I witnessed that two years on the bounce at Norwich and I think Preston deserve to be in the Championship. They are definitely not a League One set up.
“This is my first time away from Norwich and Preston is a massive club with great history. It couldn’t be a better club to start with and it’s been good to get out to a big club.”
Rudd revealed City’s England goalkeeping coach Dave Watson played a big part in his desire to test himself in the Football League.
“We both sat down and we said it was time to go out there and see what is about and learn from being at a different club with different players and different coaches,” he said. “It was a mutual decision and luckily enough for me Preston showed interest and that was the decision made for me.
“Dave Watson came in during the summer (at Norwich) and he has worked us hard for the last six months. It is great working with him. I feel like I have benefitted from him because he is one of the best in the country and he works with John Ruddy, Joe Hart and the senior keepers.”