John Ruddy deserves a raucous Norwich City swansong
PUBLISHED: 06:05 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:09 05 May 2017
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John Ruddy deserves a fitting reception for his Norwich City swansong, insists Alan Irvine.
The 30-year-old keeper will play his final Canaries’ game on Sunday, after becoming the highest profile casualty among seven players released by Stuart Webber.
Irvine confirmed on Thursday Ruddy is desperate to bow out in fitting style at Carrow Road following his integral role in the club’s recent history.
“He has made it very clear he is desperate to play in the game and desperate to go around the pitch and say thanks,” said Irvine. “He has been involved in the highs and the lows, he became an England international here and he will be proud of what he achieved. The club means a great deal to him and he will be disappointed to be leaving here but he will also understand the reasons why. John, in my opinion, has been a great servant. I would like to think he gets a decent send off. It would be very disappointing if he didn’t. No doubt when John finishes career this will be the main part and the period he looks back on and judges his career.”
Irvine revealed Ruddy and Steven Whittaker are the only two of those set to leave who have trained in recent days.
“I didn’t want people around who were not completely focused and prepared to train the way I expect,” he said. “They were given the choice to come in and train or not. I don’t want people around who will sap energy. It was about avoiding a strange atmosphere. Anyone not in the right frame of mind is not here. John and Steven Whittaker have trained. Ryan Bennett hasn’t. He won’t be in the squad. Youssouf Mulumbu, Kyle Laffert, Seb Bassong didn’t train. Michael Turner didn’t train. I fully respect they have their own reasons, but I am much happier with them not training if they are not in the right frame of mind.
“I did sit down with Stuart, as I said I would do, and he asked me for my assessment of all the players. I gave him my honest assessment on every single player but I certainly wasn’t making any recommendations. That wasn’t my place. The easiest thing to do is address the out of contract lads. That clears a number of spaces and makes a certain amount of money available, for replacing those players. It is much more difficult for those under contract, and good contracts. I had a similar situation when I went in at Sheffield Wednesday. We had a lot out of contract and I was told I more or less had to get 11 out and bring in eight to lower the budget. I am not surprised in that it is a time when everyone knows the club is looking to changed the squad around as much as they can.”