‘Lay-off John Ruddy’ is Alex Neil’s message to Norwich City’s critics

Norwich City number one John Ruddy rates Arsenal rival Petr Cech as one of the best. Picture by Paul

Norwich City number one John Ruddy rates Arsenal rival Petr Cech as one of the best. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil wants John Ruddy's critics to lay-off the under-pressure Norwich City number one.

Ruddy's high-profile errors at West Ham earlier this season and Manchester City, when his spell led to Yaya Toure's winning penalty and Russell Martin's red card, have proved costly, but the Canaries' stopper is poised to retain his place for Swansea City's Premier League visit to Carrow Road on Saturday.

Neil insists the criticism of Ruddy's displays in certain quarters has been over the top.

'When you win all of a sudden everybody becomes great and players are top drawer. When you lose a few they are the worst players. The truth is somewhere in between,' he said. 'I think people go over and above where it really needs to be in terms of criticism and it is very similar when you are winning games, in terms of praise. Form goes up and down at times and the criticism of John has been harsh.

'I am not happy we have made errors, the players are not happy, but it is unfair for people to blame one individual. Any error or weakness that people perceive gets magnified because we are not winning games.

There is no point taking someone out of the team to prove a point. John made an error last weekend but it is not as if he has been flinging balls into his own net on a regular basis

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