Norwich City must cash in before daunting Premier League finale, says John Ruddy
10:46 02 March 2014
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Norwich City keeper John Ruddy insists the Canaries know they have to produce with their Premier League futures on the line ahead of Sunday’s televised trip to Aston Villa.
City head to Villa Park buoyed by a 1-0 win over Tottenham and a battling goalless draw against Manchester City during a spell of improved form to move them four points clear of the current bottom three. Ruddy accepts there can no let up now, particularly with what looks a testing final four fixtures against many of the title challengers and European contenders.
“Tottenham was a huge win because it was unexpected but the way we played fully warranted the three points, but it was quickly reset and move onto the next game,” he said. “I think there was a realisation of the situation we were in and then looking at the last four fixtures we’ve got - we don’t really want to be going into those games needing points. The other factor is knowing we’ve got it all in our own hands. We’ve got teams around us to play in the next month or so and it’s something we need to take advantage of.
“It’s been a collective effort as a group of players and the management - we are too good to be in this situation. We’ve got a lot of quality. It’s coming to terms with how good we can be as a group and pull in the same direction. It’s shown in our last few performances. The results perhaps haven’t gone with us or reflected how well we’’ve played in certain games but we’re confident we can maintain that sort of standard and be fine come the end of the season.”
Ruddy, speaking earlier this week at the launch of EA Sports new Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare video game, has been impressive during City’s recent run with his tenth clean sheet coming in the shut-out against Tottenham.
“I love keeping clean sheets so that’s an important stepping stone for us to maintain that momentum so hopefully we will carry that on to away games as well,” he said. “If we keep it solid at the back hopefully we can nick a goal with the quality we have up front and win some games.”