Alex Neil - Declan Rudd can push John Ruddy for Norwich City number one spot
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Declan Rudd is ready to challenge John Ruddy for the number one jersey at Norwich City, insists Alex Neil.
The Diss-bred youngster impressed in the midweek 2-1 Capital One Cup win at Rotherham - prompting Millers' chief Steve Evans to label it as the best display he had seen at the New York Stadium.
Rudd enjoyed a successful season-long loan stint at Preston earlier in his career but Neil feels the 24 year-old can turn the heat up on first choice Ruddy at Carrow Road.
'That doesn't surprise me from Steve. Declan was excellent. He had a really good game, although I'm sure Steve has seen better performances than that,' said Neil.
'I had a good chat with Declan at the start of the summer in terms of where he sees himself. He is really comfortable here at Norwich and as he showed he is pushing John for his place. Like anyone else in the squad if they are not performing I have able guys to come in and take their place and Declan is no different to John in that respect.
'I was pleased with the lads who got their opportunity. That is important. We have a lot of good players who have not been involved at the moment. All they can do is show a good attitude, work hard and opportunity will come and then it's up to them to take it.'
Evans was in no doubt Rudd was the difference between his side pulling off a cup upset in south Yorkshire.
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'It's hard to accept. It's possibly the best-ever goalkeeping performance I have seen at the New York in its short life,' he said. 'The boy Declan Rudd in the second half put in some heroic saves.
'It was a fantastic cup tie to watch and I genuinely thought when we got the goal we would certainly take it to extra time, but it was not to be.
'But that's certainly how we want to play, we can lose football matches every week as long as we give our supporters value for money and we have done that.
'It was a real test for us when we were laying siege at their goal and then they go and make it 2-0 after the boy Rudd has made two heroic saves in the space of a minute.'