Belfast Telegraph

Every point vital - Ruddy

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy maintains the Canaries must see every point gained as one more step towards securing Barclays Premier League survival, no matter how they come about.

Paul Lambert's side ended a run of successive league defeats with a 1-1 draw against bottom club Wigan at Carrow Road on Sunday and were it not for a man-of-the-match display by Ruddy they could well have been beaten. But the Canaries remain comfortably perched in mid-table with 36 points - 14 clear of the drop zone with 10 games to go.

"We were sluggish against Wigan, and we will be the first to admit that," Ruddy said. "But we will take the positives out of getting a point against a side fighting for their lives - it is a point towards the bigger picture and that is staying in this league."

Securing top flight football next season would be an achievement for the Norfolk club, who were favourites to be propping up the league after a swift rise back from npower League One in successive seasons under Lambert.

Norwich head to Newcastle next weekend, and Ruddy feels the "bigger picture" has to be climbing the steps towards the fabled 40-points barrier one rung at a time.

Ruddy continued: "It is just a case of picking up points where we can - it was a below-par performance, but we still managed to pick up a point, which means we are a point closer to Premier League safety."

Ruddy, 25, spilled a couple of long-distance efforts, but also made a couple of telling blocks as Wigan's front line of Hugo Rodallega and Victor Moses - who netted a fine equaliser midway through the second half - stretched Norwich's rearguard. The former Everton stopper has been tipped for an England call-up in the run towards Euro 2012.

Ruddy said: "It would be a massive achievement for myself and my career, but it is not something that I am desperate for or something that I am losing any sleep over. My performances for Norwich is the main thing and if I keep performing well for them then who knows?"

Wigan are far from cut adrift at the bottom, as only four points separate them from 16th placed Blackburn, and Latics manager Roberto Martinez remains positive.

He said: "There will be a lot of games between now and the end of the season which will dictate the points tally needed to survive, but we'll focus our attentions on each game as it comes. If we replicate the levels shown against Norwich and approach those games with the same attitude then I am in no doubt we will get the points we need to stay up."


From Belfast Telegraph