Rudd repays Lambert’s faith with ‘excellent’ display
Paul Lambert believes rookie keeper Declan Rudd's display on his full Premier League debut against West Brom vindicated his decision not to bring in an experienced stopper.
Rudd overcame a nervous start to foil match-winner Peter Odemwingie in the first half before a superb penalty stop from the same man late on kept alive City's hopes of salvaging Premier League points. Lambert reiterated afterwards Rudd was always in the frame to deputise for the suspended John Ruddy. The City manager had revealed during the build-up he did consider a recall for Yeovil loanee Jed Steer – but went into the contest without a back-up option on the bench.
'I made up my mind virtually after John Ruddy got sent off what I was going to do. So I knew,' said Lambert. 'Some decisions work for you, some don't. But nothing happened to Dec and it meant we could have another attacking option on the bench.
'It was my decision. Whether it went right or wrong it would be my fault. It's my prerogative to pick who I want and the lads go with it. Thankfully, it went our way and, as I said, Dec was excellent. I thought the penalty save was terrific and I said the other day I never had a problem with putting him in. He was excellent. He was very good.'
James Vaughan's facial injury was another unwanted injury postscript to City's latest top-flight encounter. Lambert was praying for good needs ahead of last night's scheduled visit to a plastic surgeon.
'I don't know what the surgeon will say. It'll need a bit of work on it. Hopefully they will sort it and we'll see tomorrow,' he said. 'It's a mouth injury. He has been caught and hopefully the surgeon sorts him out. It's a bad one. The cut has gone right through the lip. We can't just stitch it up. The specialist has to look at it.'
Midfielder Anthony Pilkington missed out against the Baggies with a back problem, but is expected to in contention for this weekend's Premier League trip to Bolton.