Norwich City's fortress is in tact as far as Ruddy is concerned
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Norwich City have proven Carrow Road will be a tough place for any Premier League outfit to visit this season, according to goalkeeper John Ruddy.
The Canaries stopper pulled off an exhilarating penalty save to deny Stoke striker Jonathan Walters – a moment that looked to have secured three precious points thanks to Ritchie de Laet’s first half opener, until Kenwyne Jones’ injury time equaliser earned the visitors a share of the spoils.
But with 26,272 fans packed into a Carrow Road and the home contingent giving their hostile all, Ruddy is sure few top flight sides will fancy a trip to Norfolk to face Paul Lambert’s men this season.
“No they won’t – and once these fans get behind us they drive us on every week, home and away,” said Ruddy. “It’s a great place to play football if you play for Norwich.
“If not, look forward to a hostile atmosphere and you have got to come a beat us, but beat the crowd as well.”
While Ruddy’s spot-kick save sent Carrow Road buzzing, Leon Barnett’s foul on Walters that brought the original decision – as well as the centre-back’s 63rd minute dismissal from referee Neil Swarbrick – ultimately cost City two points.
“So close but ultimately so far, but it’s another good point on the board so there are many positives to take out of it,” said Ruddy. “My initial thought was it was outside the box and the red card is harsh. You saw it last week with Kieran Richardson, who only got a yellow (for a similar challenge in Sunderland’s draw at Liverpool).
“Again it seems we’re talking about the consistency of referees and that shouldn’t be the case. But he’s made a decision and we defended valiantly for 25 minutes against a very good Stoke side.”
The games may not come quite as thick and fast as in the Championship, but they certainly do not ease off, with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea is next on the Canaries’ radar.
“Yes, it will be a bit of a challenge down there, so we will see what they have got for us,” he said. “You can’t go into any game fearing the opposition. We have got here on merit, just like they have, and we have worked very hard for two years to get here.”