Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy knows England Under-19 international Jed Steer is waiting in the wings
John Ruddy believes Norwich City have a more than able goalkeeping deputy waiting in the wings – despite the recent injury to Declan Rudd.
Rudd, 21, had been the City number one’s back-up on the bench this season and may have been primed for a fourth appearance of the campaign this weekend, as City prepare for their FA Cup fourth round tie at West Bromwich Albion just a fortnight after leaving The Hawthorns with three Premier League points.
However, it has been 19-year-old fellow Academy product Jed Steer on the bench for City’s last two games after Rudd suffered an ankle injury in training before that Baggies win.
And in-form Ruddy – who helped City keep their first clean sheet of the season when Chelsea came to town on Saturday – has backed Steer to provide the ideal cover.
“We have got back-up,” said Ruddy. “Jed is a quality goalkeeper – if he wasn’t, the gaffer wouldn’t put him on the bench. It’s the same with Dec – you know you’re going to be pushed all the way.
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“I know if I’m not playing well enough, no matter how old or inexperienced they are they’re going to get a chance. Every person on the pitch knows that.
“Dec was unfortunate to get injured and hopefully he will have a speedy recovery, but Jed is going to come in and he has shown his appetite and hunger for it in training and he is doing really well.
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“So hopefully this will help him progress on to the next stage of his career and he will get good experience from this.”
Former Wymondham High School pupil Steer made 14 appearances for League One strugglers Yeovil during a loan spell at the start of the season, which was cut short due to a thigh injury. The England Under-19 international has yet to feature for the Canaries’ first team.
As for Ruddy, becoming a father for the second time effectively ruled him out of City’s third round win over Burnley – although the former Everton keeper has made just one cup appearance for Norwich in his two and a half seasons at the club.
Ruddy admitted baby Sophie has not caused him too many sleepless nights so far – while the Canaries’ unbeaten start to the new year is not to be sniffed at.
“It’s great for us – it’s similar to what we did last season where we went on a really good run at this time of year and hopefully we can keep that going,” said Ruddy. “This time of the year always feels like a key time in the season when you can really do something and we know what we are trying to do as far as the Premier League goes. We’ve got the FA Cup game next week, so it will be interesting to see how we tackle that because we want to really well in the cup and add that to what were doing in the league.”
Leeds midfielder Jonny Howson looks set to complete his �2m move this week – Lambert’s first piece of January transfer window business, and it remains to be seen whether there will be any more.
But whoever comes in, Ruddy acknowledged their personality will be key to making the move a success – as well as buying into the team ethic that has served the Canaries so well since Paul Lambert took charge.
“Personality – it’s very important; we have got no egos at the club and therefore everyone wants to work for each other and wants to do well for each other, and to bring that type of character in is the gaffer’s job,” said Ruddy. If he sees it fit to bring people in, then hopefully they will fit straight in – which I’m sure they will because it’s a very welcoming dressing room.”