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John Ruddy ready to fight for Wolves place

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published: | Last Updated:

John Ruddy says Wolves' capture of fellow goalkeeper Rui Patricio 'doesn't mean the end of him' as he targets keeping his number one jersey at Molineux.

Wolves keeper John Ruddy (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

Ruddy was Championship goalkeeper of the season last year, keeping 24 clean sheets as Wolves stormed to the title.

However the arrival of Portugal number one goalkeeper Patricio has means Ruddy has a job on his hands to keep his place in the team.

The determined England international said he wasn't surprised Wolves had signed a keeper but he was up for the challenge ahead.

Ruddy told the Express & Star: "It is what it is. There's going to be additions in other positions. Just because they've brought a goalkeeper in doesn't mean it's the end of me.

"I've come to this club with an ambition to get promoted last season and my ambition was to play in the Premier League.

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"We're very close to that. As long as the other goalkeeper's coming in with the same desire and attitude that I've got then it can only be good for the club.

"I did expect them to bring someone in. I think everyone expects there to be additions in most positions, as happens when you make a step up.

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"In the Premier League you have to have not just a starting XI, but a full squad to step in if needed.

"It was no surprise to me but I can only concentrate on what I need to do and the same goes for Will (Norris) who's just signed a new deal and is eager to progress and continue his development.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"When you go into the Premier League it's never going to be easy. It's another hurdle for myself and Will to come over.

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"As long as the other keeper is coming in with the desire, the attitude and the work rate that both of us have got then it'll be a good addition."

Ruddy is out in Switzerland with the rest of the squad as Wolves's pre-season preparations get into full swing.

They beat Basel 2-1 on Tuesday, when Ruddy kept goal with the 'second string' team in the first half containing a number of untried youngsters.

"It was a good test," he added. "The first half team that I was involved in was a young team.

"I know Ricky van Wolfswinkel who scored, I played with him at Norwich, he said it was quite a strong team they put out in the first half.

"I thought the young boys acquitted themselves really well.

"The first 10 minutes, they got used to the system and what we'd worked on in training.

"They were really good. It's a credit to them - Basel were a Champions League team last year playing against Manchester United.

"They've got Champions League qualifiers coming up and it was a really good test for us as a whole squad, but for the young boys coming in they did really well.

"It was important that myself, Danny (Batth) and Kortney (Hause) as senior players at the back helped them as much as we could, but not overload them with information and confuse them.

"We've worked on a few things in training and they're getting used to the ideas that manager puts across, the ideas that we're accustomed to.

"It's been good. When you're playing such good opposition it always helps.

"I've been on pre-season trips where you're not staying in a hotel as nice as this, or playing against teams that aren't really putting up a challenge.

"We've come out here and played really prestigious opposition."

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Ruddy has a new keeper out with him in Switzerland in the form of teenager Andreas Sondergaard.

The 17-year-old Danish youth international is getting his first taste of first team involvement – and Ruddy is impressed with what he's seen from the youngster.

"He's been brilliant. He's settled in really well with the group we've got, he's taken on Rui's (Barbosa, goalkeeping coach) ideas really well.

"He's learning quick and enjoying it. He's a good kid, easy to talk to, he speaks really good English and understands the work we're trying to get across.

"He's fantastically agile for a young lad. His distribution's very good and as most keeper's his shot-shopping is exceptional as well.

"That's the feedback the outfield lads have given to him as well in the short time he's been here.

"He's looking sharp and his reflexes are good so if he keeps learning he's got a big future ahead."

The Premier League campaign starts in less than a month when Wolves kick off against Everton on August 11.

Ruddy knows what it takes to thrive in the top flight – he helped Norwich to lofty finishes of 11th and 12th.

He thinks Wolves are well equipped to survive – but must work even harder than they did last season.

"We're coming into the Premier League with a really good squad already, plus additions that will no doubt come in before the window closes," he added.

"We're well equipped but we can't rest on our laurels – we still have to put the work in that we did last year.

"I said at the back end of last season, the work we did last year was really good and now we've got to work even harder to stay in the division."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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