Norwich City’s John Ruddy showed his England class with vital save in Wales, says Cameron Jerome
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
John Ruddy's game-changing save at Cardiff City underlined why Cameron Jerome believes he deserves more England recognition.
The Norwich City keeper may now by plying his trade in the second tier but it hasn't stopped his team-mate from feeling that Roy Hodgson is making a mistake in overlooking him. The 27-year-old missed out on his country's World Cup debacle in the summmer after not making the Three Lions' squad and many pundits insist he won't add to his one international cap while the Canaries are in the Championship.
But Jerome remains adamant there are not many better shot-stoppers about for Hodgson to consider having watched the number one at Carrow Road make another vital stop to deny Federico Macheda at 2-0 on Saturday.
'Ruddsy (Ruddy) couldn't do anything about the two goals. It was slack defending by us,' said Jerome, who scored in his side's thrilling 4-2 comeback triumph.
'The big man's the best about in this league by far. He's a Premier League goalie in my opinion, and an international goalie in my opinion as well. Luckily the club's hung on to him and he's going to be vital for us with them sort of saves. At 3-0 we'd probably have been dead and buried. But at 2-0 you've still got a sniff. Luckily he's done that and he's come for some good crosses in the second half and he's been commanding. He's a big presence and he's a big factor at this football club.'
Ruddy's intervention sparked a memorable turnaround as strikes from Martin Olsson, Wes Hoolaham, Michael Turner and Jerome sent out a big statement of title-challenging intent. It came after a half-time dressing down from Neil Adams that Norwich's former Cardiff frontman admits was deserved.
The 28-year-old said: 'As players you know yourself when you're off the pace a little bit and when you're under-performing. It doesn't necessarily take the manager to do that. There's quite a few leaders in the dressing room already. It was just a matter of getting it right, and I think we did in the second half. Our quality came through. We know we've got a lot of quality but sometimes you can't just rely on it.
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'You've got to have the hard work, commitment and a team effort. You can't just rely on individual quality, even though we've got a lot of that in the squad. We knew we'd let ourselves down in the first half and it was a matter of rectifying that in the second.'
The victory sparked scenes of delight at the final whistle although Norwich's fourth goalscorer of a memorable day concedes joy wasn't the over-riding emotion from inside the dressing room.
He added: 'It was a sense of relief really as we were so far off it in the first half it was unbelievable. But we knew if we got one we were always going to get back in the game. Obviously once we got two there was only going to be one winner.'