‘Norwich City is back’ - John Ruddy on ‘fearless, cut throat’ Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Former Norwich City keeper John Ruddy is backing the table-topping Canaries to seal Championship promotion.
Ruddy went up with Wolves 12 months ago and is convinced Daniel Farke’s squad will join him in the Premier League in the coming weeks, after opening up a four point gap at the top with eight league games left.
The ex-England international is impressed with Farke’s ability to transform his old club’s fortunes.
“If anyone connected to Norwich thought they were going to be in this situation with eight games left they are liars,” he said. “There is the weight of expectation taken off, straight away. Norwich is back. They are playing fearless football, high intensity, cut throat football but also winning dirty and winning ugly. All those ingredients you need.
“Look at the Swansea game the other week. They out-played Norwich for 50 minutes, one chance, bang, goal and they shut up shop.
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“Once you take that weight off your shoulders you can play with a freedom. You can see that at Wolves in the way the manager is very clear how he wants to play and, apart from a tweak here or there, he has stuck to that. I believe Daniel would be the same. I can’t see there being wholesale changes this summer. Norwich will not go and spend £50m or £60m.
“Wolves spent a fair bit last summer, Fulham £100m. Norwich will be more of a Cardiff type mould. They will pick and choose players but it will be the core group of this squad which will carry them through again next season.”
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Ruddy sat down with the Talk Norwich City podcast to reflect on his highs and lows during a seven-year stint at Carrow Road.
The 32-year-old was touted with a high profile move to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea back in 2013 but opted to stay in Norfolk.
“It could have happened if I wanted it to and Norwich agreed to it and Chelsea put in an offer Norwich wanted,” he said. “I phoned Chris (Hughton) in pre-season and said I was aware of Chelsea’s interest and believed they had bid £7m.
“Back then it would have been a record for an English keeper. I said, ‘I would like to talk to them. This is an opportunity.’ He said, ‘You want to leave?’ I said, ‘No, but this is Chelsea. They are a massive club and they have just won the league.’
“He said if you want to go you have to hand in a transfer request. I said I would never do that but I wanted to talk to them to see what the pathway would be, in terms of how they might use me. Norwich had given me so much and I played with a number of players who had forced themselves out of this club and I didn’t want to do that. I would not disrespect the club in that manner.
“I said to Chris, ‘Promise me one thing, if they come in with a deal you feel is acceptable then I would like to go. If you don’t, you don’t. I would get on with it and be professional. Not a problem.’
“I don’t regret it.
“I made the decision and it might have been nice to play for Chelsea and financially it would have been unbelievable but I made the right decision for me and my family.
“I didn’t want to uproot my family - the children had started school - to go and be third choice.”
• To watch the full John Ruddy interview, visit the Talk Norwich City Youtube channel