December 7 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 15, 2013
For some Norwich City fans – maybe pertinently the 3,000 at White Hart Lane and 2,500 who trekked to Hull – their club is pushing its luck at the moment.
It’s not so much the result. A 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford, The Emirates, Etihad or Stamford Bridge would be easy enough to take given the quality those sides possess. And this season, even without Gareth Bale, Tottenham are very much in that bracket.
What seems to rankle is the performance. The lack of haste, be it: design, being pressed or being told, the inability to use the ball and offer a greater threat going forward.
City goalkeeper John Ruddy is a man often in the same boat as the fans – left to watch City trying to attack their opposition. It’s fair to say the supporters’ frustrations are not lost on him.
“They’ve made some very good signings and come the end of the season they will be right up there,” said Ruddy. “We always knew it was going to be tough but we would’ve liked to have given ourselves a bit more of a chance.
“We’ve done well the last couple of years here too, so it’s even more disappointing to come here and not really be in the game at any point. It was just a case of trying to see it out for as long as we could and then waiting for the game to open up.
“But they played a very good game, pressing us right from the off and they didn’t give us the opportunity to play.”
Which lends itself to the question of whether City did anything to give themselves the opportunity to play either?
“It doesn’t matter about the amount of quality they’ve got – if you sit back against any team, they are going to try to find a way through,” added the City stopper.
“I just think with the players we’ve got and the signings we’ve made, we could just have been more aggressive in our play and really ask questions of other teams, as opposed to them asking questions about us.
“We’ll move on to next week. This was going to be a tough game. It proved that way. But it doesn’t stop us from being disappointed about the result.”
So Tottenham were very good, and City weren’t. Clearly there is a feeling Norwich are not doing enough to worry the opposition – Spurs definitely included. Which brings an arguably bigger question – why?
“I can’t answer that,” said Ruddy. “It’s just one of those things. The players they’ve got and the way they played in the first half, they pressed us from the off and we probably weren’t expecting that a little bit.
“The passing and movement they’ve got – not just in the middle three but the wingers and striker looking to cut in – the lads worked very hard to maintain the score as we did.
“We’re a good group, we’ve got very good players. We’re a good unit and we believe in each other.
“It’s just a matter of putting that belief in each other on pitches. And we’ll start next week.”
And while Chris Hughton’s men would have also looked to protect their own goal better, Ruddy acknowledged his part in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s second goal that realistically ended the contest.
“It was a good ball across and I tried to get a hand on it, and it’s just brushed my fingertips but it wasn’t enough,” he said.
“Obviously I’m disappointed to concede any goal, but certainly in that manner. It was just one of those things.”