John Ruddy paid tribute to Wolves’ close-knit squad after he marked his first league start of the season with a clean sheet against Cardiff on Saturday.
Ruddy, whose action this season had previously been limited to cup games, was one of several changes to Nuno Espirito Santo’s side as the Wolves head coach opted to rotate his squad against the Bluebirds. The goalkeeper effectively marshalled his defence as Wolves denied Cardiff a route back into the game after first-half goals from Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez had put the home side in control.
On the game
“The manager told me that I was playing on Wednesday, so I had a few days to prepare for it. There were a few changes and I think that everyone who came in did really well.
“Again, it was an indication of how strong our squad is. It was nice to be back in a league game, and to top it off with a performance like that from the lads and a clean sheet is very satisfying.
“I want to play as much as I can, so obviously another game was very welcome. I think the manager was clear when he said that my selection was looking towards the United game (the FA Cup quarter-final on March 16th), so I expect Rui (Patricio) to come back in now and we’ll look to United after that.”
On the spirit within the squad
“As a group we’re very close-knit, very tight and we trust each other. It’s such a good, grounded group to be part of – that’s the biggest thing, there are no egos, no-one getting carried away; we’re all very grounded and focused, and that comes from the manager down.
“It’s a fantastic attitude to have and it’s one that has given us so much success over the last couple of years.
“The manager likes a smaller squad because it’s easier to manage, and we’ve also got characters in that group that manage each other – make sure we’re all on the same wavelength. We had a great season with that attitude last year, but the aim was always to build on that, and that’s what we’ve done.”