Focus on the bigger picture warns Norwich City’s John Ruddy ahead of Ipswich derby test
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Norwich City keeper John Ruddy warns promotion is a bigger prize than East Anglian bragging rights ahead of this weekend’s cross-border derby against Ipswich.
The England international is one of a select group of survivors from two thumping wins for the Canaries during the last successful Championship promotion campaign. Ruddy knows what it means to the supporters, but City’s season does not hinge on the outcome at Portman Road.
“You can only really enjoy it if you get a positive result, but let’s be clear, it is the fourth game of the new season, it’s a 46-game season,” he said.
“If we can give the supporters something to cheer about and maybe get one over on Ipswich then that would be great as well. Getting back in the Premier League is the end goal for us and probably another 10 teams in this division, who can really threaten to challenge.
“It is a very competitive league and if you are not focused going into every game you will be punished. That is why we have to keep our minds right and keep the big goal as the focus.”
Ruddy is ruling out any psychological edge from those two wins over their bitter rivals in the 2010/11 season when Norwich followed up a 4-1 Carrow Road win with a 5-1 triumph in Suffolk.
“I don’t think that means too much to be honest because the two clubs have completely changed in that period of time,” he said. “Obviously it is a massive occasion for the fans and I know we will sell out our allocation and there is a bit of extra spice on this game because it is the derby and because it has been so long.
“Hopefully I won’t have much to do so I can take in that special atmosphere.
“Maybe they are still licking their wounds from last time. We just have to go with the right attitude and the same mindset in the last two games. It is an important step for us because if we pick up that first away win of the season that is an important milestone. We need to be hard to beat at home and pick up more wins than draws away and we’ll be right up there come the end of the season. What better place to start than Portman Road.
“Or confidence is up after the two home wins. We are looking forward to the game on Saturday and hopefully we can take the results of the last couple of games against them into that one.”