Norwich City’s John Ruddy delivers the perfect response to recent adversity

Norwich City keeper John Ruddy denies Wigan's Callum McManaman to complete a triple stop. Picture by

Norwich City keeper John Ruddy denies Wigan's Callum McManaman to complete a triple stop. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Neil Adams was convinced John Ruddy would respond in positive fashion to recent criticism.

Norwich's clean sheet against Wigan owed much to Ruddy's key triple save from close range in the final stages. Adams revealed afterwards that had been the challenge he set the City number one during the build-up following some costly errors.

'We have all come in for flak in recent weeks, and rightly so, and John by his own admission has not been at his best,' said Adams. 'I just had a chat with him in the week and I told him, 'I know what a good keeper you are, just get back to your best and give me a clean sheet on Saturday,' and he probably made one mistake when he spilled the ball and it was cleared, but other than that he looked confident and strong and solid.

'You wouldn't have expected that after results had gone against us.

'He stepped up to the plate in the same manner the whole team did, but I said it during the week he has made important saves for us this season. At Brentford he made some big saves and Cardiff was the one for me when at 2-0 he made a great save, and everyone forgets that. They just remember the four-goal blitz we produced when if that had gone in we were probably going to be on the end of a four-goal hiding.'

Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan was one of four different City goalscorers against the Bluebirds in that 4-2 Championship win back in September but Adams opted not to recall the fit-again Irishman along with Vadis Ofoe and Ryan Bennett.

'The big temptation with those three key players is to push them back and you have to be strong,' said Adams. 'Had we played them and then lost them for another three, four or five weeks you would think, 'Why did we do that?' There was a temptation because of what those three can bring to the team. It has paid off because now they get another week's training and we have to decide whether we arrange a little internal game to get them match minutes because that is all they are missing.'

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Striker Lewis Grabban was also absent at Wigan after suffering a groin injury in training.

'He did it on Thursday in a shooting session,' said the City chief. 'We are hoping he hasn't torn it or done anything serious and the reports I have had over the weekend are that he feels it's a lot better so we are hoping, fingers crossed, come Monday and Tuesday he will be okay.'