Declan Rudd injury could force Norwich City to look for goalkeeping cover
Declan Rudd's ankle injury could force Paul Lambert to make an unexpected foray into the transfer market for experienced goalkeeping cover.
Lambert confirmed after his side's win at the Hawthorns that Rudd could be set for surgery that keeps him on the sidelines for the next two months.
Teenage back-up Jed Steer was thrust into the role of John Ruddy's understudy, but the Canaries' chief plans to weigh up his options before making a final decision.
'I need to sit down with Ian Culverhouse and Jeff Wood and see what we're going to do. If push came to shove I wouldn't have any fear throwing Jed in,' said Lambert. 'I don't think there's much between him and Dec but I will sit with the lads and we will have a discussion about it. Dec has hurt his ankle. He'll be out for a couple of months. At this stage it's looking like surgery, yes.'
First choice Ruddy was at his shot-stopping best to frustrate West Brom before Shane Long's cool second-half penalty extinguished hopes of that landmark clean sheet – a mere statistic for Lambert in the grand scheme of things.
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'It's not important, as long as you win,' he said. 'You are probably better asking John that himself. From my own point of view he is playing really well and it's not just down to him we haven't kept a clean sheet. It's everyone but he is playing very, very well at the minute.
'It would (bother me) if we weren't winning games. We conceded a penalty today but the most important thing is that we've won. We need to try and win more games than not and we've certainly done that. It would be nice to get a clean sheet, the lads are desperate for it as is everybody else but we're winning games.'
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Lambert opted to reserve judgement on the rash lunging challenge from Dani Ayala that cut down Jerome Thomas to earn Albion a spot kick.
'I've not really seen it,' he said. 'But with all the talk at the minute and a load of people saying what is right and wrong after the Manchester City incident I can see why the referee gave it.'