Seb Bassong is back to his best for Norwich City keeper John Ruddy

Norwich City keeper John Ruddy has welcomed Sebastien Bassong's return to the fold. Picture by Paul

Norwich City keeper John Ruddy has welcomed Sebastien Bassong's return to the fold. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Seb Bassong's return to Norwich City's starting line-up has got the full backing of the man who operates behind him, John Ruddy.

Bassong was out-of-favour at Carrow Road until Alex Neil's arrival last month, but the former captain has been a key figure in City's winning recent surge.

Norwich have kept four clean sheets in the last six games ahead of Sunday's Championship promotion shoot-out against old rivals Ipswich and Ruddy is in no doubt Norwich's chances of success have been enhanced by Bassong's return to the fold alongside Russell Martin.

'I said at the time I felt he was unlucky not to be in from the start of the season, but he is in the best shape I have seen him,' said Ruddy. 'Those were decisions above my head and the rest of the players. It was unfortunate for Seb, but he showed his professionalism and went out to Watford and got them up the league and he has come in now and looks like he has never been away. He has settled right back in and offers that presence that he was a couple of years ago here. It is great to have him back and Seb Bassong playing at that sort of level is always going to help us.

'It has been brilliant for me playing behind the lads. I have to give the defence credit where it's due because I haven't had a lot to do in these last few games. I think that just shows the way we are set up now. We are a lot more organised. People know their jobs and what is expected of them and we are executing that week in, week out. It is about pushing on now. We go into every game knowing exactly what we need to do. There are no excuses. We know how the manager wants us to set up and it is very clear and that is shown in our performances.'

Ruddy was convinced Norwich would come back strongly over the climax to the Championship after a downturn before Christmas.

'The mood is buzzing, as you would expect, but we always said when we were going through a dip the confidence never wavered. We knew there was no doubt it would pick up,' he said. 'We had too much quality in that changing room.

Most Read

'We had the dip, it was a bit bigger than we expected, but we knew it would turn and we would be a force to be reckoned with come the end of the season. Now we have the results it is about maintaining the focus and the consistency and doing the right things and we have done that since the manager came in.'