Ruddy: Norwich must defend better

16 July 2012 06:47

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy accepts the team must "tighten up" if they are to progress in the Barclays Premier League - which can only boost his own England chances.

The Canaries finished a creditable 12th place on their return to England's elite under Paul Lambert, who has now taken over at Aston Villa, but despite all their hard work, Norwich ended the 38-game campaign with a goal difference of minus 14.

"You know you are always going to be busy in a league like this, but last season, we only managed something like three clean sheets and we want to build on that," said Ruddy, who is now away with the rest of the Norwich squad and manager Chris Hughton on a pre-season training camp in Austria.

Ruddy, who earned a call-up to the England squad for the European Championships only to then be forced out by injury, added: "We score as a team and defend as a team, so we know that is not enough.

"We need to tighten things up because last season you felt we always had to score two goals to give ourselves a chance of winning, whereas this season we would like to say 'right, we will score one and still win'.

"That is the aim, and if we can score more goals than last season and let in less, then that is a good recipe."

Ruddy saw his hopes of being involved in the senior squad for the first time scuppered on the eve of Euro 2012, having broken his ring finger - just 10 days ahead of his wedding - in a training ground accident with Dave Watson, who is now part of Hughton's backroom staff at Carrow Road.

The 25-year-old, however, remains positive over future international ambitions, saying: "It was just one of those things and could have happened at any time during the season, but it happened with England, which is a positive in itself. Hopefully if I maintain my level of performances, then I will be back in the England squad again."

Ruddy is likely to be in line for another call-up ahead of the friendly against Italy in Switzerland on August 15, and he added: "Because last time was cut short after just a few days, I probably do want it more than at the start of last season.

"We [England] looked to have a solid base at the Euros, and now if we can get the goals flowing like we can, then it will stand us in good stead for the World Cup qualifiers coming up. First and foremost, though, my job is here at Norwich and as long as I am playing well, then everything else will come when it does."

Source: PA