Norwich City’s John Ruddy points to the bigger picture
Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy is looking at the bigger picture of the Canaries' first season back in the Premier League after their 1-1 draw against Wigan at Carrow Road yesterday.
The former Everton man acknowledged that Norwich were a long way short of their best against the Latics but believes the club has taken another step in the right direction to securing their top-flight future. Despite taking an early lead through Wes Hoolahan, the Canaries were second best against struggling Wigan, who thoroughly deserved Victor Moses' 68th minute equaliser.
City could have had few complaints had they been left empty-handed but Ruddy isn't about to dwell on one disappointment among an array of excellent displays so far this campaign. 'We were sluggish and we'll be the first to admit that,' said Ruddy, who was called into action on several occasions to keep Roberto Martinez's men at bay. 'But you've got to look at the bigger picture. We'll take the positives out of getting a point against a side fighting for their lives – it's a point towards the bigger picture and that's staying in this league.'
Many fans expected Norwich to all but secure their Premier League status with another home win but Wigan didn't play up to their basement boys role at the bottom of the division. Ruddy was called upon on several occasions to keep out decent efforts from Hugo Rodallega and James McCarthy but the former Everton man was not as impressed as some by his personal display.
'It was okay. There were a couple of shots in the first half that I tried to hold and I didn't really get hold of them.
'They were good strikes but overall I think the whole team was below par. It's not the sort of performance that we expect from ourselves. That's an indication of how far we've come in a short space of time and an indication of how we've been performing this season.'
City still find themselves 14 points clear of the relegation zone and despite some supporters expressing their disappointment at the final whistle, any one of a yellow and green persuasion would have taken that scenario at the start of the season with 10 games left.
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'I think anyone would have. It's just a case of picking up points where we can – it was a below par performance today but we still managed to pick up a point, which means we're a point closer to Premier League safety. We know that we need to pick it up next week at Newcastle – it's going to be a very tough game but we'll go into it full of confidence.'
Ruddy believes that as we approach the business end of the season points are going to be harder to come by but insists there is enough quality in the squad to reach safety.
'We've got Wolves in a couple of weeks and they are going to be the same (as Wigan) – they are going to come right at us, desperate to get the points. For some teams down the bottom it's easier to play away from home because they don't feel the pressure is on them. Wigan were a credit to themselves today and if they play like that for the rest of the season then I think they will be fine.'
Ruddy's display in front of a Sky television audience will perhaps push his claims for a place in the England squad but the 25-year-old insists it's not a priority for him.
'It's out of my hands. My bread and butter is here at Carrow Road, working for the manager and the team. That's all I'm concentrating on.'