Norwich City keeper John Ruddy confident of Premier League survival
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Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy believes the Canaries will have secured their Premier League status before a difficult final set of fixtures.
When the fixture list was released in June many felt City must accumulate enough points by the end of March before a run of matches which sees Paul Lambert’s men take on the likes of Everton, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
And with City sitting 14 points above the relegation zone on 36 points with 10 games to go, Ruddy feels the Canaries’ Premier League fate will not rest on the final matches of their campaign.
When asked if City’s season was going to go to the wire, the 25-year-old said: “No, I think we’ve given ourselves more than enough points this season to be safe.
“Some people are saying that 36 is probably enough – we’re not looking at it like that.
“It’s a cliché but we’re taking each game as it comes. If we can pick up points in our remaining 10 games then I don’t think we’re going to have a problem.”
Ruddy was called into action on several occasions on Sunday to keep a lively Wigan side at bay but the former Everton man thought he and his team-mates were a long way short of their best.
“I am my own biggest critic and my performance wasn’t as good as I’ve come to expect from myself this season but I think that’s the same for every player.
“If you ask any player, they would have probably said that they were slightly below par. That’s an indication of how far we’ve come and the standards that we’ve set this season.
“We expect to win every game. Look at the Man United game – we were devastated when we lost that game.
“We would have been disappointed to draw so it just shows the character that we’ve got in the team and the way the manager drives us on.”
There were a few mutterings of discontent at the final whistle as a section of fans aired their frustration at seeing their side only take apoint against the Premier League’s bottom side.
But Ruddy hasn’t got a problem with the expectations levels rising around the club - that’s part and parcel of playing for a club like Norwich.
“I heard a couple of moans and groans at the end of the game but that shows the expectation level of not just us as players but the fans as well,” he added.
“They expect us to turn teams like Wigan over because of where they are.
“As players, we know it’s going to be difficult because they are fighting for their lives.”
City have another television date next weekend when they travel to Newcastle on Sunday and Ruddy admitted he cannot wait to test himself against the likes of Papa Cisse and Demba Ba, who showed his goalscoring prowess with a brace in Norwich’s 4-2 win at Carrow Road in December.
“We’re looking forward to going up there and giving a good account of ourselves,” he said. “It’s a great test for everyone – to come up against the best players. We’re in the best league in the world and that’s why we worked so hard last season so we could come up against these.
“That’s why we’re working even harder this year to stay in this league because we want to stay here.”