Norwich City duo Steven Whittaker and John Ruddy take opposite sides in Scottish play-off
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Steven Whittaker and John Ruddy earned Norwich City a crack at the Premier League, but the club mates are on opposite sides of the play-off divide in Scotland.
City's international duo have a vested interest in the outcome of the Scottish Premiership final between Rangers and Motherwell, with the first leg at Ibrox last night seeing Motherwell win 3-1.
Whittaker admitted he could have been part of the Rangers' line-up if he had stayed at the Glasgow giants following their financial implosion and demotion to the lower tiers of Scottish football. Ruddy, meanwhile, credits his loan spell at Motherwell as a key part in a career which has led him back to the big time following Monday's 2-0 Wembley win against Middlesbrough.
'I have a lot of affection for Motherwell. When I moved there, I was at a stage where I was really in no-man's land and just drifting along,' he said. 'My time at Motherwell was absolutely invaluable. I've said to many people if you want to go and play games and get a big stage to play on to go to Scotland. I always look out for their results and I'll watch them on the television in the play-offs. The move there revitalised me and look at me now, I'll be in the Premier League next season.
'So I owe Motherwell a lot. Everyone at the club really helped me out too so I would be delighted if they could beat Rangers.'
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Whittaker, however, believes Scottish football needs the Ibrox club in the top flight.
'Rangers deserve to be in the Premiership and it would be great for Scottish football to have them back in the top league. I hope they do it,' he said. 'It was a surreal situation when I left Rangers. I'd signed a four-year contract and committed my future to the club, then it all went wrong. Obviously they went bust, they had to start all over again in the Third Division.
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'For my own career, I had to move on. Before that, I had decided that I wanted to play for Rangers for the rest of my career, but it wasn't to be. In the end, we move on.'