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Ruddy targets England recall


John Ruddy has his eyes set on a return to the England squad

John Ruddy has his eyes set on a return to the England squad

John Ruddy has his eyes set on a return to the England squad

John Ruddy has targeted an England recall after Norwich's instant return to the Barclays Premier League.

The keeper is eyeing a Three Lions spot again following the Canaries' promotion back to the top flight on Monday.

England boss Roy Hodgson watched him in Norwich's 2-0 Sky Bet Championship play-off final win over Middlesbrough.

Ruddy has one cap, against Italy in 2012, but missed out on last year's World Cup squad after the Canaries dropped out of the top flight.

Rivals Rob Green and Tom Heaton have been relegated with QPR and Burnley respectively while West Brom's Ben Foster is out with a long-term knee injury.

And, after the Canaries' promotion, Ruddy is eager to convince Hodgson to call on him again.

He said: "I didn't focus on England at all this year. I knew playing in the Championship I wouldn't be doing myself any favours.

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"My main aim was to get back into the Premier League and then knock on the door for that. We've done that and that starts on August 8.

"Congratulations to Tom, I thought he deserved to be called up for the last squad, he was unlucky but he has got the call up for the summer and he's a fantastic keeper. I'm delighted for him. He has done very well for Burnley this season but himself and Rob Green are now dropping down to the Championship."

Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond scored inside the first 15 minutes at Wembley to stun Boro and ease Norwich, who finished third in the league, back to the top flight.

Ruddy had little to do, although was saved by the bar after being beaten by Jelle Vossen's first-half strike.

Norwich were the promotion favourites at the start of the season and Ruddy admitted they had spoken about their past.

He said: "We had a words before the game about where we were last season, like Chelsea away, Seb (Bassong) got up and said a few words which really resonated with the rest of the squad.

"Days like Monday are special, if you can go up any way you'd chose the play-offs but unfortunately you can't guarantee it."

Boss Alex Neil was an unknown before he replaced ex-manager Neil Adams in January after joining from Hamilton in Scotland but Ruddy predicted more big things.

"He is only 33 and has a massive future ahead of him, hopefully that's with Norwich and it starts next season in the Premier League," he said.

"We're looking forward to being back among the names and the clubs and having games every week where you know you'll have to work as hard as we did on Monday.

"That's the key, we set a started and we can't rest on our laurels. The manager will not allow that. His attention to detail is superb and I'm sure that'll carry on.

"He is by far the best I have worked with. To say that for a manager, who is 33 and come from the Scottish Premier League, is a credit to him. He has put his impact on the club and we are reaping the rewards."

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