John Ruddy laments harsh decision on Norwich City
Goalkeeper John Ruddy feels Norwich City were harshly treated by referee Neil Swarbrick after their 10 men drew 1-1 with Stoke at Carrow Road.
Ahead through Ritchie de Laet's first-half header, centre-back Leon Barnett conceded a penalty and was dismissed for his challenge on ex-Ipswich Town striker Jonathan Walters with half an hour remaining.
Ruddy saved Walters' penalty, but Kenwyne Jones broke City hearts in the fourth of five added minutes, heading home from close range as the Potters' late pressure finally told.
'So close but ultimately so far, but it's another good point on the board so there are many positives to take out of today and we look forward to next week now and another tough game (at Chelsea),' said Ruddy, who felt the Canaries were harshly treated by referee Neil Swarbrick.
'I haven't seen it again now, but my initial thought was it was outside the box and the red card is harsh. You saw it last week with Kieran Richardson, who only got a yellow (for a similar challenge in Sunderland's draw at Liverpool).
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'Again it seems we're talking about the consistency of referees and that shouldn't be the case. But he's made a decision and we defended valiantly for 25 minutes against a very good Stoke side.'
Ruddy believes City's opening Premier League draws, including a first day stalemate at Wigan, proves they can compete in the top flight – just two seasons after scraping around in League One.
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'I think it sums us up – we've got a very solid unit of players here, we work very hard for each other and we want to do the best for each other and the management staff,' added Ruddy.
'Unfortunately today we slipped up at the end. Every other game we see that out and get a very good victory, but it's a good point. It's important not to lose games in this league.'