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It's In Our Hands

John Ruddy is not taking anything for granted at Wolves prepare to face their final nine games of the Sky Bet Championship season.

After signing for Wolves in the summer, the 31 year old has kept 19 clean sheets so far this season from 37 games.

 

As he looks towards Saturday’s clash against Burton Albion as Molineux, he says that the game is Wolves’ biggest of the season.

 

“It’s hard to achieve and it’s something that’s taken for granted, certainly at this level and in this league,” Ruddy began. 

 

“There’s 46 games, there’s lot of games, a lot of midweek games, not much time to recover, switch off and gather your thoughts, and to work on stuff on the training pitch as well. 

 

“You need to give the players to recuperate after the matches, which then eats into your preparation time for the next match. 

 

“We’ve had an extra day this week which has been really helpful to us and our preparation for Saturday and we go into the Burton game knowing that it’s the biggest game of our season.

 

“Everyone knows, at this stage of the season, there’s going to be a few ups and downs. 

 

“It’s how you maintain that consistency and how you bounce back from those downs. 

 

“We’ve done that twice now really well, so we’re looking for that consistency now and going into the last nine games of the season, that’s what we need.”

 

Ruddy was twice, part of a promotion team from the Championship to the Premier league and with that he realises the responsibility of the senior players in the squad.

 

He does, however, admit that the younger players have got ‘big game experience’ too.

 

He said, “Not just myself but every senior player in the squad, plays an important part at this time of the season. 

 

“Myself and Ryan (Bennett) have been lucky enough to get out of this division before, Danny’s (Batth) played in it for a number of years, Conor’s (Coady) had a good couple of years of experience in it as well and obviously Doc’s (Matt Doherty) there as well. 

 

“We have the experience throughout the squad, in terms of Championship experience but you forget that the younger players in our squad have got big game experience as well. 

 

“We’re talking Champions League, we’re talking La Liga, Portugal league, we’ve got big game players. 

 

“I think, coming into the most important part of the season, where we have got some big games coming up, they will be vital for us as well.”

 

Saturday’s opponents, Burton Albion, sit 23rd in the Championship table, three points adrift of Barnsley in 21st. 

 

He says that both side will have pressure on them heading into the game, admitting their both for different reasons.

 

Ruddy said, “Whatever team you are in the league, you always put pressure on yourselves. 

 

“Obviously there’s a lot of pressure at the bottom because they want to stay in the league but there’s a lot of pressure at the top because we want to get out of it. 

 

“In that sense, we are polls apart but Burton is going to be our toughest game of the season, purely because it’s the next one but also because of the mentality they’ve got. 

 

“We have a target on our back and we’ve had it on our back since October 31st. 

 

“We have put ourselves in a superb position and if you would have looked at the start of the season - say, with nine games to go, three points ahead of second and ten ahead of third, you’d have bitten their hand off. 

 

“We’re very proud of what we’ve done so far this season but now it’s about seeing that through for the next nine games. 

 

“It doesn’t matters who we play at this stage of the season. Everyone has got things to play for. 

 

“I understand when people say, ‘they’re mid-table, they can’t go up, they can’t go down,’ but there’s still professional pride at stake. 

 

“To be the team that beats Wolves is something that teams will take satisfaction from. 

 

“We know it’s in our hands, we’ve got five home games left, and that’s going to be a massive factor for us. 

 

“The fans, again, on Tuesday were fantastic in their support and for five more games we need that for every home game. 

 

“Obviously for the away fans to continue their support that they’ve given us on the road, it’s been exceptional as well.”