City hero John Ruddy has admitted that there shouldn’t have been a spot-kick to save in the first place, after his stop from David Cotterill proved to be the catalyst for the Canaries’ 2-0 weekend win over Swansea.
Just when the game looked to be heading for a goalless draw, Ruddy brought down the rampaging Scott Sinclair in the box on 84 minutes and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Ruddy made amends by tipping Cotterill’s effort onto the post and the rest, as they say, is history, with City running out 2-0 victors through an Ashley Williams own goal and a stunning injury time volley from substitute Simeon Jackson.
But the summer signing from Everton was keen to deflect any praise coming his way, insisting that he shouldn’t have conceded the penalty, even if he was happy with the end result and the chanting of his name from the Barclay end.
“I should have been in a better starting position and unfortunately he got there before me,” he told reporters, speaking after City’s second three-point haul in a week.
“In terms of getting sent off for it I think the ref made the right decision as the ball was going out for the goal kick so he was never going to get there – the ref made a good decision.
“I think you saw by my reaction that it was important, not just by me but the entire squad. It was good to save it but like I say, I should not have given it away in the first place really.”
As boss Paul Lambert told the press afterwards, Ruddy has had to “live with the ghost of Fraser Forster” since his arrival. But that save at the weekend will have done plenty to erase the memory of last season’s outstanding loanee, especially as the Carrow Road faithful now have their own little ditty for the St Ives-born goalkeeper.
“It was really nice to hear that,” continued Ruddy, a July signing from Everton. “After the first game against Watford I was very disappointed with myself.
“There is still the legend of Fraser Forster around the club but as I keep saying we are completely different goalkeepers. It was just really nice to hear them sing my name.”
Ruddy’s outstanding form in the last two matches has coincided with two Championship victories and two clean sheets and the 23-year-old revealed that, like a striker does with finding the net, he takes great pride in shutting out the opposition.
“It is like asking a striker how much pride he takes in scoring goals; it is the same for any goalkeeper with clean sheets. I think it is harder to keep a clean sheet because it is 90 minutes work.
“Me, Wardy [Elliott Ward], [Michael] Nelson, and the rest of the lads work hard to keep clean sheets and I think the team were excellent today. Wardy got ‘Man of the Match’ and he was fantastic today. I think, in the last two games, we have looked like a solid unit.
“I think it all started with the Gillingham game in the Carling Cup when we got the result under our belt. Then we went up to Scunthorpe and got a fantastic win with a clean sheet and again today we showed how solid we can be.”