Norwich City’s John Ruddy demands more Premier League clean sheets
Goalkeeper John Ruddy is determined to increase his tally of clean sheets in the Premier League – so that Norwich City are not forced to score at least twice to win a game.
Only three times last season did the Canaries get through 90 minutes without conceding a goal, in a goalless draw against Chelsea at Carrow Road and in the 2-0 home wins over Bolton and Aston Villa.
'You know you are always going to be busy in a league like this, but last season, we only managed something like three clean sheets and we want to build on that,' said Ruddy.
'We score as a team and defend as a team, so we know that is not enough.
'We need to tighten things up because last season you felt we always had to score two goals to give ourselves a chance of winning, whereas this season we would like to say 'Right, we will score one and still win'.
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'That is the aim, and if we can score more goals than last season and let in less, then that is a good recipe.'
Ruddy, now away with the rest of the City squad at their pre-season training camp in Austria, has also revealed exactly how he broke his ring finger in the incident that robbed him of his Euro 2012 finals spot. He did it stopping a shot from England goalkeeping coach Dave Watson – the man who has since followed new manager Chris Hughton from Birmingham to Norwich.
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Ruddy, who was replaced in the squad by Birmingham youngster Jack Butland, said: 'I suppose it was sod's law that it had to be Dave.
'It happened on only the second day of training when I dived to stop one of his shots.
'We got the glove off immediately and the finger was already black so we knew it wasn't good.
'Dave was very upset and said he was sorry straightaway. But I told him it wasn't his fault. It was just one of those things.'
The 25-year-old admits he 'grimaced' through the pain barrier at his wedding ceremony 10 days later when he and his wife exchanged rings, but Ruddy remains positive over future international ambitions. It was just one of those things and could have happened at any time during the season, but it happened with England, which is a positive in itself.
'We will take it into next season and hopefully if I maintain my level of performances, then I will be back in the England squad again.
'Having Dave here is fantastic and I'm delighted to get the chance to work with him every day.
'We have already got past the second day in training so hopefully things will be all right now!'
Ruddy could be in line for another England call-up for the friendly against Italy in Switzerland on August 15.
'First and foremost, though, my job is here at Norwich and as long as I am playing well, then everything else will come when it does,' he said.
'Chris is a really nice guy to work for and has brought a fantastic backroom staff with him as well.
'We need to maintain the same levels, regardless of whether the old manager stayed or not.
'The new boss coming in now might even help us with that second-season syndrome, because we all need to impress him.
'We have got a very solid squad, now we have to raise it that extra step.'