Norwich City keeper Ruddy wants a Liverpool scalp
Norwich City keeper John Ruddy is not expecting the Kop to remind him of his connections to the blue half of Merseyside in today's Premier League test at Liverpool.
Ruddy spent five of his formative years at Everton but made only one top flight appearance for the Toffees as an early substitute in a 1-0 home league win over Blackburn back in February 2006.
The St Ives-bred stopper is more concerned with the present and an exciting future if the Canaries can build on their encouraging start to life back in the big league.
'It would be nice to win but even sweeter as a Norwich player rather than as the ex-Everton man,' he said. 'That's all I'm focused on. What happened in the past is in the past, I've moved on from that and so has the club so I'll look forward to going there as a Norwich City goalkeeper. I'm pretty sure they won't even remember I played for them. You never know, but you expect to get some stick everywhere you go, so a bit more off the Scousers wouldn't be too bad.
'I went to a Merseyside derby once. That was a really, really good experience – a great atmosphere. You know what you get with the fans, but we go up there, enjoy the occasion and we've got no pressure. If we just play how we have been playing, we'll be fine. I've never played there so it will be a good experience.'
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Ruddy admits red letter days at Anfield underline how far Paul Lambert's squad have come.
'It's the sort of place you want to play football,' he said. 'We've been to Old Trafford already and Stamford Bridge. Anfield's up there with the best stadiums in the country. It's a pleasure to play there and we look forward to it but once we're on that pitch, it's eleven against eleven on grass, as simple as that. It doesn't matter what's around you. They're a quality side. If you look at how much money they've spent over the years, it speaks volumes.
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'They have some world-class players and we're not taking anything for granted. I think these are the games you look forward to the most. For me the games against Swansea and QPR, where we need points, they're the bigger games, teams that you're expected to take points against.'
Ruddy, along with a number of Norwich team-mates, have been linked with potential international recognition after impressing during City's opening salvos. The 24-year-old is adopting a philosophical outlook on the England front.
'I wouldn't say I've dreamed about it. It's every player's ambition to play at the highest level and play for your country,' he said. 'But the only time I would be considered for a call-up is if I'm doing well enough for Norwich and if I'm putting in the performances for them then maybe you should say, 'All right, maybe he should be looked at'. It's not for me to worry about.
'All I can do is concentrate on Norwich City. If it happens, it's great, it's a bonus. Jonno (Bradley Johnson) was named in the 30-man squad last time and it proves we're getting looked at and people are taking notice of the players we have, because we have some excellent players.'