Norwich City keeper John Ruddy is no fall guy for Alex Neil

West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate capitalised on Norwich City keeper John Ruddy's miscued punch.

West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate capitalised on Norwich City keeper John Ruddy's miscued punch. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil insisted John Ruddy was not the fall guy for West Ham's stoppage time equaliser at Upton Park.

The Norwich City number one had superbly foiled Diafra Sakho and Dimitri Payet in a frenetic second half but his intended punch clear from Payet's last-gasp free kick hit Andy Carroll and dropped fortuitously for Cheik Kouyate to rifle home six yards out.

'If you actually look at the goal John punches it and it rebounds off someone into someone else's path. You need a little bit of fortune at times and unfortunately we didn't get that,' said Neil. 'I wouldn't blame John. He made some crucial saves. I just think we could have defended it better.

'You can do better on every goal. You can take it right back - you don't have to give away a foul to earn them a free kick, then you are looking for guys to get their bodies or their head in the way of the ball when the cross comes into the box. We'll break it down when we go through the game this week and we'll see where we went wrong and hopefully make sure we don't do that again.'

Nathan Redmond's thumping finish looked to have won it in an inspired late cameo.

'I told Nathan on Friday I thought he would win us the game and I was nearly right but we didn't manage to see it out,' said Neil. 'I had been working on that team all week so of course I hoped it would work. I knew how I wanted us to approach it and I knew the longer it went on if we needed a goal I had good options on the bench. I think his last couple of games he hasn't been at the levels he would expect, or me. It wasn't a difficult decision.

'My decisions are based on the game, and I felt Nathan would have a real impact for us off the bench if I needed that and he did that when he came on.'