Ruddy - Spirit is the key for Norwich City

John Ruddy believes Norwich City's much-heralded team spirit is better than ever – and that will help the Premier League new boys steer a path to a successful campaign.

The Canaries goalkeeper was spared involvement in the 4-0 Carling Cup thrashing by MK Dons at Carrow Road on Tuesday night, before which he was in dominant form in the 1-1 draw with Stoke City at Carrow Road two days' earlier.

However, next up promises to be as tough as they will come for Ruddy and City – with tomorrow's trip to take on last season's Premier League runners-up Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (3pm).

'We have got a very solid unit of players here, we work very hard for each other and we want to do the best for each other and the management staff,' said Ruddy.

'You look at it last year, we brought six or seven new players in and this year we have brought in another eight, and the team spirit is as strong as ever. That is credit to us as men and to the management for the way they have handled us, and if we can keep that together throughout the season we will be fine.'

The theme of wholesale changes has come up more than once already this term, with six made from the 1-1 opening day draw at Wigan for Stoke's visit and the entire XI being forsaken ahead of the Dons cup exit.

As far as City's top flight contests have gone, the two games also saw contrasting formations – a pattern that may well be repeated as manager Paul Lambert looks for City's route to Premier League survival.

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Ruddy said: 'It is a squad game and it was always going to be the case, that every squad member needs to be used and we have been fortunate to use two different formations with players who fit into those formations very well.

'Having the players that can come in and knowing they can do as well as the players they are replacing is an important factor in any squad. When you have come up from the Championship and brought in eight new faces, I think it shows how good the team spirit is here in how well they've gelled and how quickly.

'We are a good group of lads and we have worked hard for each other. The lads who were in League One worked hard to get out of that league and then last year we worked very hard to get out of a very tough league – and now we're going to work even harder to stay in this league.'