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Norwich City keeper John Ruddy scoffs at referee Simon Hooper’s call on Cameron Jerome ‘goal’

PUBLISHED: 19:48 09 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:52 10 August 2015

Try as he might, John Ruddy had little chance of keeping Wilfried Zaha's close-range opener out. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES

Try as he might, John Ruddy had little chance of keeping Wilfried Zaha's close-range opener out. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES

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A sarcastic grin may have spread across John Ruddy’s face – but he still knew Cameron Jerome’s disallowed goal was no laughing matter for Norwich City.

The Canaries’ shot-stopper faced the media following his side’s 3-1 opening-day Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace. And it didn’t take long before referee Simon Hooper’s decision to chalk off what would have been his team-mate’s sensational equaliser became the topic of discussion.

“In the middle of the box – you’re not allowed to score by them anymore,” said the clearly frustrated keeper when he was asked whether he was aware overhead kicks had been presumably outlawed.

“I think that’s where common sense comes into it. If you’re in the middle of the box and you’re trying to score a goal, and you’re improvising in that manner, it’s common sense (to allow the goal). It’s a decision, that ultimately, has cost us at least a point. I think we were in the ascendency (2-1 down when Jerome found the net) and if that was allowed I think we’d have gone on to get another one the way we were playing.

“But it wasn’t to be, the referee made his decision. Right at the end I thought we should have had a penalty as well (Sebastien Bassong barged over in box by Connor Wickham) – he didn’t give that either – so we’ll move on and review it on Monday. Unfortunately we didn’t get the rub of the green but we’ll have to get on with it and move on to the next one at Sunderland.”

Ruddy capped his top-flight return by twice denying Glenn Murray and saving efforts from Yohan Cabaye and Yannick Bolasie during an assured display. Yet there was little he could do to prevent Wilfried Zaha, Damien Delaney and Cabaye finding the net thanks to some inviting home defending.

The England international remained upbeat about his troops’ display however but admits they must develop a ruthless streak to ensure their stay in the top tier is not short lived.

City’s number one added: “I thought we were dominant for 80 minutes of the game. They had 10-minute spells here and there where they capitalised on their opportunities.

“That’s what you’re up against in this league. We know that, it cost us the season before (when we got relegated 2013/14) – not scoring enough goals – and we’ll be determined to make sure it isn’t the same this season.”

Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson was also unable to escape the line of fire regarding Hooper’s widely-criticised performance. But he remained more philosophical about the official’s match-changing decision.

“I was very surprised to see it ruled out. I don’t think I was the only one,” the Yorkshireman said.

“There was no great appeal even from their side. Over the course of the season, sometimes it goes against you and sometimes it goes with you. These things happen in football and it’s not something we can affect. So now we just have to move on.

“It was natural instinct from Cam (Jerome). It was a terrific finish. But it wasn’t to be.”

Norwich’s Remi Matthews made his competitive debut for Burton Albion during their 2-1 season-opening victory at home to Scunthorpe. The Gorleston-bred keeper will remain with the League One new-boys on loan until January 2.


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