John Ruddy knows Declan Rudd is a worthy rival for Norwich City’s number one jersey

John Ruddy is well aware Declan Rudd is pushing him hard for the Norwich City number one spot. Pictu

John Ruddy is well aware Declan Rudd is pushing him hard for the Norwich City number one spot. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City keeper John Ruddy knows Declan Rudd is pushing him hard for a Premier League start.

Ruddy labelled his own form 'patchy' ahead of last weekend's 1-1 top flight draw against Arsenal, after being punished for high profile errors earlier this season against West Ham and Manchester City.

The 29-year-old has been the Canaries' undisputed number one since replacing Fraser Forster at Carrow Road back in 2010, but Rudd underlined he was a viable option during the club's Capital One Cup run this season.

'It is not just this season, he played well last season and the 18 months or so he had at Preston,' said Ruddy. 'Everyone knows what Dec can do. He has come back from Preston a different keeper, in the sense he is a lot more sharper, but in that respect it is no different to when I first joined the club. I had Dec and Jed Steer here and although they were young if they were good enough then they would have deserved a chance. We have had many keepers here in my time.

'Bunny (Mark Bunn) came in and did very well when I was injured during one Premier League, Nashy (Carlo Nash) wasn't so much going to knock on the door for a start but he was always driving me in training. That keeps you motivated. We work well together but ultimately we are fighting for one spot.'

Ruddy realises a clean sheet or two can only bolster his claims to retain the jersey ahead of this weekend's latest league trip to fellow promoted rivals Watford.

'The most frustrating thing earlier in the season was we would concede a sloppy goal when we were so close to the perfect performances,' he said. 'Sunderland and Bournemouth should have been clean sheets, but we were still getting three points.

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'It is nice for a keeper to have clean sheets, in the same way it is nice for strikers to score, but as long as we put points on the board I would take winning every game 5-4 if we stay in this league.

'The most important thing is the standards you set at places like Manchester City or Chelsea have to be the same in the other games. Getting a point or two at those places doesn't keep you in this league, it is the teams in and around us where we have to pick up our points.'