England still not on radar for Ruddy
Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy prepares to face his former club tomorrow – still playing down talk of an international future.
The 25-year-old son of a soldier has been mentioned in despatches as an England possible more than once this season after playing his part in the Canaries' bright start to the Premier League campaign.
But as Paul Lambert's men head for Everton, the club from which Ruddy moved to Carrow Road nearly 18 months ago, he insisted he was some way off the top of the list of contenders for the Euro 2012 squad.
'I think they're only talking about that because of the way the 'keepers are dropping at the minute,' he said. 'If you look at it on the whole, if we had a full quota of 'keepers available for the England set-up, I don't think I'd be on the first page of that.'
Ruddy, in a studio interview with ESPN, said performing well for City was his immediate priority and felt others had more experience.
'I think you've got to look at Ben Foster and Paul Robinson, who have done it for a number of years in the Premier League,' he said.
'Joe Hart has been unbelievable for the last couple of years. Then you've got Robert Green in the Championship performing well, who was unlucky the way his international career seemed to have ended for the time being.
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'And then David Stockdale has been in the squad a few times as well, so they've obviously got 'keepers they like and they're looking at and if I'm one of them, that's great. But I know that's only going to come if I'm playing well for Norwich and that's my main aim.
'It's the same with every player at Norwich. You look at our backgrounds as individuals, it tells you a lot about the type of player the manager wants and why we've got such a good team spirit. There are only a couple who have come from a Premier League background and played in the Premier League.'
Ruddy made just one first team appearance for Everton, against Blackburn in 2006, but gets the chance to go back to Goodison Park as a Premier League player tomorrow (3pm).
'I was at Everton for a number of years and unfortunately it didn't work out the way I would have liked it to, but I've worked very hard to get back to this position and I'm delighted with the way it's going now and I hope I can continue,' he said.
He added that he is confident 10th-placed City could maintain their steady progress in the top flight without falling away in the second half of the season.
'I think ourselves, as well as QPR and Swansea, have learned that lesson from Blackpool,' he said.
'They started off unbelievably well and up until three quarters of the way through the season, they looked like they were going to be safe.
'Unfortunately for them, they had a tough run-in and they stumbled but we're confident enough that we've got enough quality in the squad that we can see it through.'