Chris Hughton admitted after tonight’s battling 1-1 Premier League draw at Southampton the loss of injured England international John Ruddy for up to three months was a hammer blow.

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Hughton confirmed Ruddy had suffered a ‘serious’ thigh injury in the closing stages of the weekend draw at Everton which is likely to require surgery. The City boss may now draft in short term goalkeeping cover after Mark Bunn made an assured full Premier League debut for the club at St Mary’s. City have highly-rated England youth duo Declan Rudd and Jed Steer on the books, but Hughton has not ruled out an experienced addition to cover Ruddy’s untimely absence.

“Those are the decisions we have to make,” he said. “Mark is an excellent goalkeeper but it is a tough decision because it is such a big job. That is something we have to decide over a short period of time. It is a blow for us and for the length of time he is going to be out he is a big player for us. The form he was in then, yes, it is a big blow, and that is not taking anything away from Mark, because he will be an excellent goalkeeper for us and that is the reason why we brought him in. I feel for John because he is in a very good period in his career at this moment with his international involvement with England but in Mark we have a very good replacement.

“I think we are looking at about three months out. We knew straight after the (Everton) game that it was not going to be a quick one but until you get the correct diagnosis and you let it settle down you are best not to pre-judge anything. We have to discuss about surgery as an option now and that will be determined over the next few days, but it is a significant tear.”

Hughton was delighted his side maintained their unbeaten run against an improving Saints’ outfit.

“I think we were good value for the point,” he said. “And we have been in our last two games on the road. In this division, points are hard to come by away from home. It was very similar in many respects to the Everton game at the weekend. I thought Southampton were better than us in the first half but I thought we got back into the game and scoring the goal when we did gave us a boost. The game opened up in that second half and we were certainly better after the break. It could have gone any way. We kept possession far better and it was a good point.

“These have got a lot of quality and they have brought in some big money players. The boy (Gaston) Ramirez is getting better with every game. We had to nullify them first but possibly in the early stages we could have been better in possession ourselves.”

Hughton felt referee Mark Clattenburg missed a blatant handball by Rickie Lambert in the build up to Southampton’s opener, but the City boss praised the official on his return after a much publicised case of alleged racist abuse involving Chelsea players.

“He is an excellent referee,” he said. “I think I can speak for most when I say we were delighted to see him back and that is putting aside anything to do with this performance. He has a real passion for what he does and he is very, very good. We need the best referees performing week in, week out. He is a strong character and irrespective of what Mark has gone through, referees these days know they are judged from every angle.

“I think there was a handball for their goal but it was difficult for the referee to see it. They worked it very well and got the block inside the box and I think there were a lot of bodies around the ball. I’ve seen it since and speaking to our boys they are adamant there was a handball.”

13 comments

  • Ruddy out is a big blow here's hoping Bunn steps up to the mark. Unfortunately due to the broadcasters out here deeming this match a non-event i.e. they televised every other match last night (early hours here) so I will need to wait until the weekend to hope to see highlights. Nice to see not too much about the ref, didn't give a penalty against us all players stayed on the pitch, though it does seem to be a disguised penalty by missing the handball but it seems to be c'est la vie in the league this season! A win would have been good but that being said even though we are still giving the odd goal away we have stopped the away losing streak, so hopefully not too long for the away win. OTBC

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    Jakarta Canary

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Perhaps we can borrow one of Spurs four keepers? does anyone have a preference between Gomes or Cudicini?

    Report this comment

    Dave Backham

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • I seem to remember a few people on here (Myself included) wondering why on earth we needed another goalkeeper. Well, now we know. Chris Hughton is psychic.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • good point El Dingo, its now 9.25am and I cant find one either. Guess there was no match report in all those edp's delivered around Norfolk this morning.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Will somebody please put me out of my misery and explain what this `Pickover` thing means! I just don`t get it. :-( Obvious handball before Lambert`s goal. Holty is beginning to look a bit p****d off at being the workhorse with nothing in his nosebag as reward. Time to give him a strike partner, at least for part of the game? Cinammon. And\or freshen up the midfield with Little Benno, Howson or Surs? Bass & Tettey awesome. Top acquisitions, no doubt. Hands off, everybody! Bunn did fine. Good point, could have been 3. Battenberg not as dire as usual, just that handball. On good behaviour & good choice of photo opportunity.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Ruddy is an exceptional goalkeeper at the moment but we all know that confidence plays a big part. So how is CH building up the confidence of the other keepers? It appears that he is undermining Bunn and Rudd by saying that he may need experienced cover. Every time I have seen Declan play I have been impressed. He is a good goalkeeper, will probably become a great goalkeeper but it looks as if once again he is being denied his opportunity. The only person in the UK who is being forced to wait longer for the chance to prove his worth is Prince Charles.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • A fair result, neither keeper was really tested. One good save from Bunn and Tettey and Bassong look classy players. BUT Pilkington, what's happened to him, he needs to go off to where ever is that footballers go to relearn how to cross a ball and Snodgrass is not far behind him. Our 'forward' doesn't stand much of a chance if he is not getting the right balls in. We will score more goals if our crossing improves and that includes free kicks and corners. But for me the best bit about last night was Tettey's willingness to overlap and get forward.

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    Lobbo

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Fortunately, the presence of Bunn means that the loss of Ruddy is less of a hammer blow than it might have been. Hughton's decision to buy Bunn in the Summer is now looking eminently sensible, as we still have strong goalkeeping cover and competition despite injury and loan... However, I also wish Ruddy a speedy recovery and hope that he returns as soon as possible to build on his excellent recent contributions.

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    Robin Hood

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • You'll never beat de Norwich, but you can always draw with them.

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    paddycanary

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Agreed Lobbo, Tettey gets better and better. Its a concern, but with our 4-2-3-1 it is beholden for Pilks and Snoddy to get good balls into the box for Holt. They aren't at the mo' so time for someone else.

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    shefcanary

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Can somebody explain why CH thinks it's "a hammer blow" to lose John Ruddy. Just two points:a) he spent the million on Mark Bunn b) having seen him play three times now, can't see the difference between them. He must be pee'd off to read comments like that!!!!!

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    Terry Buxton

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Is it just me or is it really 0830 and no match report in the EDP? Best for local sport? You're having a laugh,Mr Pickover.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Lobbo, I think it's nearl time Pilkington had a rest. Snodgrass would do much better on the left wing and little Bennett should come in on the right!....But what do I know!

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

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