John Ruddy is relishing his opportunity to get back out on the pitch as Wolves travel to Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.
The goalkeeper has been Nuno’s go-to man in cup competitions this season and will hope to be called upon in the fourth round tie this weekend. Ruddy has had to be patient this term, with Rui Patricio selected in Premier League matches, but has maintained his high standards and remains a vital cog in the Wolves machine.
On his opportunity
“It’s the same as it has been in every cup game this season. The chances to play have been few and far between this year, but you prepare for every game as if you’re going to play anyway, until probably the Saturday.
“Tomorrow’s a great opportunity for me and other players who haven’t quite had the minutes they wanted recently. It’s another game and another step in the right direction, and hopefully another round past this one.”
On the Shrewsbury tie
“It’s a really tough game and I don’t want people to overlook Shrewsbury because they’ve played really well recently, since Sam’s gone in. He’s done a tremendous job.
“There’s always an added incentive with a local derby and then when you mix in the FA Cup with that as well, and everyone loves an upset - we have to make sure we’re not that upset and we’re approaching the game the way we would any game, league, cup, any game at all.
“We approach everything in the same manner, we pride ourselves on that and we pride ourselves on making sure come game time and come kick off we’re ready to perform.”
On his role in the squad
“You never lose it. At the start of the season I had a conversation with the manager, he explained to me what he wanted, what he thought. I was happy to go along with it and do what he needed me to do.
“But, come Saturday afternoon and you know you’re not playing, it’s difficult. I get paid to play football and I’m not playing football every week. You prepare as if you’re going to play, prepare everyone else in the way they need to prepare. You try and be as positive around the place.”
On maintaining high standards
“Call me old fashioned if you like, but I’m part of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and that to me means whatever my role might be, whether that’s playing every week, or on the bench every week, or in the stand every week, my role has to be as best for me as it can.
“I have to make the best out of any situation. So, for me to come in and sulk, and not train properly and not encourage and not be there to give advice if anyone’s after it, I’m not doing myself any favours there.
“The best way for me to be who I want to be and who I pride myself on being is working hard every day, making sure I’m looking after myself in terms of physicality, mentality, nutritionally, and being ready when called upon.
“Everybody needs to be prepared, everybody needs to be focused, because if you’re called in, whether it be the day before a game, five minutes in, 60 minutes in, you have to know what’s expected of you when you step over that line and I think the best way to do that is making sure you’re doing it right throughout the week and then you leave no stone unturned, and making sure you’re ready when called upon.”