Ruddy | 'Excellent from start to finish'

John Ruddy described Friday’s victory over Crystal Palace as a “typical Wolves performance” as the old gold returned to what they knew, and their reward was progression in the Emirates FA Cup.

Adama Traore’s rocket of a finish was enough to see off the Eagles, while Ruddy was delighted with the organisation and togetherness of the players in front of him. Making just his second appearance of the season, the goalkeeper remained untested in terms of shots throughout, but the organisation and dominance of his box was invaluable in victory, and typified the spirit within the camp, as Wolves won for the first time in 2021.

On a strong performance and result

“It’s a good result, a positive one, through to the next round. In terms of the performance, I thought we were excellent from start to finish. I thought we completely bossed the first-half.

“In the second-half we knew we were going to have periods where we’d have to defend well, and it’s what we do best, and what we have done over the years. We dug in, held out and managed to keep an invaluable clean sheet. After Adama nicked the goal in the first-half, it was a typical Wolves performance.”

On the game management

“We came under pressure, but I thought we played ourselves out of it really well. We took the ball in areas that were probably not as comfortable to watch, but we dealt with it extremely well.

“We managed to find our way out of it, instead of resorting to what Palace probably wanted us to do, which was go longer, more direct, when it’s difficult for us to get out because the second ball will come in. When we needed to do it, I thought we did it well, we picked up the second balls really well.”

On Traore adding goals

“It’s no different to what he brought to the team last year with the assists and goals he contributed. His aim, as is everyone’s, is to get better. If he can add goals and more assist, then the world is at his feet because he’s a phenomenal talent, he’s a phenomenal athlete and fantastic guy.

“The whole feeling throughout the group, everybody is working hard to be the best they can be, which contributes to being a better team.”

On his big catch at the end

“It’s something I’ve always been taught during my career – if you can try and catch it, then why wouldn’t you? When you’ve got the ball in your hands, you’re in control of the game. It’s better to be that way than trying to get a punch on it and getting nudged by a body in front, and you’re not clearing the danger.

“From a defender’s point of view, I know that it helps massively, but from my point of view, it’s something I feel confident doing. Like any goalkeeper, when the ball’s in the right area and you feel you can come for it, then everyone would do the same.”

On dreaming of going all the way

“Of course. Our aim is to go as far into the competition as we can. We showed that last year in the Europa League, the year before in the FA Cup. With only having the FA Cup and Premier League now, we’ve got two competitions to focus on, and as you saw with the team, we’re not going to take this lightly.”

On 32 clean sheets for Wolves

“It’s a massive credit to what’s in front of me whenever I’ve played. They’ve been superb. Even on Friday, I don’t think they registered a shot on target or even a shot at goal, so that sums it up. It sums up the desire we have to defend and when we do it properly, how effective we are.”