December 6 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Chris Hughton has backed Norwich number one John Ruddy to turn up the heat on England rival Joe Hart ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers.
Ruddy will link up with Roy Hodgson’s squad for the pivotal games against Moldova and Ukraine after this weekend’s Premier League match against Southampton. The 26-year-old has one senior cap to his name but with West Brom’s Ben Foster ruled out for three months with a broken foot and Manchester City’s Hart heavily criticised after his display in the recent Wembley win over Scotland, Hughton believes Ruddy could step in if required.
“I think you would always feel if you go away on international duty then you are there on merit and you are in with a chance of challenging your rivals,” he said. “I’ll leave others to judge players who are not part of Norwich but for me I think John has the capabilities to really push for a place if you look at the progress he has made in the past few seasons.
“He has put himself in a position to put pressure on the guy who has been in the side. John is in that squad on merit. He has the physical attributes and his form for Norwich in the past few years warrants him being in the squad. He had a disappointing experience last season with the injury that pretty much kept him out for two-thirds of the season, but he has made a full recovery from that and at this moment he is back to the level he was at before.”
Hughton will lose nine players to international duty over the coming fortnight and the Norwich boss is prepared for an anxious wait before his troops return ahead of the Premier League resumption.
“There is good and bad. On the downside the more who go away the greater the risk of injury,” he said. “We lost Robert Snodgrass after the last international break. I think on balance it is positive. I would prefer to see more international players at our club because that means the quality of the group is better. The fear of injuries is part and parcel of it.”